DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — For the last several months, those passing by the Riverfront Redevelopment Project at the former Moosehead Manufacturing and Mayo mill property downtown have seen crews working on the exterior of the building. The public had the opportunity to see the numerous improvements already made on the inside to convert the site into a mixed-use facility during an open house on July 21.
As the crowd of about 175 gathered inside, developer Jonathan Arnold of the Arnold Development Group in Kansas City, Missouri, explained the project is shifting from the deconstruction to construction phase.
“We are proud to have you here for this open house,” he said as the sound of the Piscataquis River going over the adjacent dam could be heard in the background.
“What you are going to see is a lot of demolition and cleanup,” Arnold said, as hazardous materials — such as lead paint and asbestos — have been removed from the building prior to the beginning of the construction phase. He said at the start of the tour that the dozens of attendees were standing in the oldest part of the facility, built in 1887, and as they walked along the property, they would see a system of different structures.
“We are standing now in the restaurant,” Arnold said, with this dining space overlooking the waterfalls. He said the nearby brick building will be the site of a cafe and “to the right is space where there will be a farmers market, hopefully.”
Arnold led the tour, which included some former employees of Moosehead Manufacturing, through to a concrete building he said would be office space on the ground-level floor.
“The space we are standing in now is what we call the interior street, it connects the parking area to the different parts of the mill,” he said. Arnold said the property would have three parking areas, with one close to the building, another farther away and the third being shared with the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church.
“We would like to create office space not for some big company from away that will leave but to take advantage of the Three-Ring Binder and the hydroelectricity,” he said. Arnold added that a goal of the offices and other portions of the Riverfront Redevelopment Project are to keep the usage prices affordable.
The office units can vary in size depending on what the renter desires.
“At the end of this space is what we call the flex space,” Arnold said. He explained this area of the first floor could be used for seminars by the tenants. “You have the ability to rent what you need and use other things when you need it.”
Arnold said the second and third floors will together house 22 residential apartments overlooking the Piscataquis River. He invited the tour-goers to head upstairs to see the future living quarters. The floors are open with only the supporting beams in place, but walls will be built to create the separate apartments of one- and two-bedroom units with varying square footages.
The Riverfront Redevelopment Project involves over $11 million in various public and private funding sources. According to the project website, www.dfmill.com, the opening is scheduled for the spring of 2015.
Other planned components of the 60,000 square foot mixed-use site include a data center, boutique inn, Internet cafe and art studios and artisans ateliers.