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‘People of Grant’ Celebrates the Workers Behind a Historic Redevelopment Project in Bath, ME

November 8, 2022 Jim Damicis
Artists rendering of the outside of the Grant Building redevelopment
Artist’s rendering of The Grant Building. Source: https://www.31centrestreet.com/commercial

Sometimes real estate development is all about the team! In Bath, Maine, a development team led by Sean Ireland and Mandy Reynolds is giving new life to the historic Grant Building at 31 Centre Street in the heart of downtown. The 25,000-square-foot late Art Deco-style building was built in 1936 and has been home to many businesses over the years and most recently served as an indoor community park during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, The Grant Building is being redeveloped into a mixed-use space that will be anchored by Union + Co, Bath’s first coworking and private office space. It will also include a 50-seat White Box Theater, residential apartments, and additional office space.

Camoin Associates assisted the developer with designing and acquiring tax increment financing (TIF) from the City of Bath to help make the project feasible. But the project is about more than the building and the financing. At the heart of its success are the people doing the work.

Recognizing this, the developer is collaborating with local photographer Joshua Langlais and audio editor Gabriel Gavino Ferrer on the “People of Grant” project, which uses photography and audio interviews to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the “boots on the ground” workers who are transforming The Grant Building.

See the photos and listen to the stories

Four of the workers highlighted in the People of Grant project
Portraits of some of The Grant Building workers by Joshua Langlais, Source: https://www.31centrestreet.com/people-of-grant

Camoin Associates works with lots of developers in communities across the nation, and we have seen many examples of creative building design, uses, and efforts to make financing possible. But this is the first time we’ve seen the workers and their craftsmanship celebrated in this manner. It comes at a time when, across the economic and community development world, we are all understanding the importance of workers doing a great job.

Mandy said it best: “There’s a lot of talk right now about workforce development but we don’t often celebrate the folks who get projects done. I mean the ones who really do the hard work, physical labor, day after day. We need to elevate and recognize the tradespeople and craftsmen who are doing the work. Remind the next generation that building inspiring places and spaces is important work, and it should be celebrated!”

We couldn’t agree more, and we look forward to watching this project becomes a vibrant part of a great community.