JHR Development of Maine, LLC, and its principal J. Hilary Rockett, Jr., recognized an opportunity for development on an abandoned railroad yard in Brunswick, Maine, near the downtown and across the street from Bowdoin College. The parcel, owned by the Town of Brunswick and burdened with environmental contamination from more than a century of railroad operations, had frustrated previous development efforts. But JHR Development saw an opportunity create a new passenger rail station along the existing tracks, and a transit oriented mixed use development including retail, office, a New England-style inn—and, of course, a new passenger railroad station for the Amtrak Downeaster. Eventually renamed Brunswick Station, JHR and the Town of Brunswick forged a public-private collaboration that resulted in a brownfield clean-up, the creation of a new public avenue, and the construction of a vibrant new business destination on the edge of downtown Brunswick.
Brunswick, Maine, home of Bowdoin College, the MidCoast Symphony Orchestra and a prominent destination for visitors to the Maine coast, is now home to a successful new transit oriented development and a new rail station, benefitting both residents and visitors alike.
Restoration from the Ground-Up
In order to get the project off the ground, JHR Development relied on guidance from Rich May, working with local counsel, to steer it through the negotiation of a public-private partnership with the Town of Brunswick, and through design, permitting, construction and opening of retail stores, office and a New England-style inn. Rich May attorneys also assisted JHR Development in securing debt and equity financing for various phases of the project.
Bringing Business to Brunswick
With Phase I and II complete, Station Avenue at Brunswick Station is now home to the Bowdoin College Store, Scarlet Begonias Bistro, Byrne’s Irish Pub, a primary care and walk-in medical clinic operated by Brunswick’s Mid Coast Hospital and an orthopedic and physical therapy center operated by OA Centers for Orthopedics. In addition, Brunswick Station features The Inn at Brunswick Station, a New England style inn which opened its doors to the public in July 2012, as well as a train station that services the Maine Eastern Railroad and the newly arrived Amtrak Downeaster. Construction planning for Phase III continues to progress, currently anticipated to add a residential component to the Brunswick Station development.