Helping the City of Biddeford Plan in a
Dynamic Market Environment
For years, a waste-to-energy facility (MERC) located in the middle of downtown Biddeford made the Mill District and the city as a whole unattractive for development. Finally, in 2012 the City Council purchased the site, removed MERC, and began remediation. City leaders recognized the critical role this property has in transforming Biddeford’s downtown and retained Camoin Associates and MRLD Landscape Architecture + Urbanism to complete a Market Analysis and Redevelopment Feasibility Study.
Following the removal of MERC, absorption of existing mill space picked up dramatically and vacancy rates in downtown Biddeford plummeted. Nothing in the historic data suggested this abrupt change, so our challenge was to help the City understand what was happening in the market and plan in an environment with increasing uncertainty. Our approach was not to set a path toward a single redevelopment objective but to create a framework of the City’s vision that will guide the private sector in adapting emerging market opportunities to the City’s desired development outcomes. We emphasized implementation by working with the city to envision what could be done AND how to do it.
- Analysis of a dynamic real estate market undergoing transformation
- Development and assessment of redevelopment prototypes
- Public process through strategic messaging and public meetings
- Vision and actionable redevelopment strategy
"The shutdown of a trash incinerator that dominated downtown Biddeford for decades already has been credited with helping fuel an economic resurgence, with new businesses along Main Street and in the city’s historic mill district. Now, three years after the city bought the property and tore the incinerator down, Biddeford is hoping to take the next step and redevelop the riverfront land into a campus that could include shops, restaurants and housing."
Portland Press Herald | Read the full article