BRUNSWICK, Maine — Developer George Schott has plans to lease the former Navy hotel at Brunswick Landing and nearly 200 former bachelors apartments to the Navy to house sailors assigned to ships at Bath Iron Works.
Schott has signed purchase and sale agreements to purchase the former 248-room hotel and former bachelors apartments at the former Navy base for $6 million, according to Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority.
He recently closed on the first batch of 76 apartments, and expects to close by the end of June on the 114 remaining bachelors apartments, he said Tuesday. He hopes to close on the hotel before before the end of the year.
Schott, who in 2010 purchased some 700 units of former Navy housing in Brunswick and Topsham, is contracted to house armed services personnel in the area, but has no current contracts with the Navy to supply housing for the sailors in Bath.
The developer said he also would like to lease the hotel and apartments he’s now acquiring to the Navy.
“We have a contract with the armed services where we supply them housing for a reasonable price,” Schott said. But he added that mandatory federal budget cuts have caused the Navy to delay decisions about their housing needs for the next few years, so he will develop alternative plans just in case. Those plans may include renting the units to the public.
The first crew members for the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer will begin arriving in the fall, according to Kristin Mason, public affairs officer for the Navy’s supervisor of shipbuilding at Bath Iron Works. The crew typically arrives in phases from the middle stages of construction until a ship is delivered to the Navy, she said.
The Navy did not respond to questions about its housing needs for crew members assigned to BIW ships or whether it is negotiating with Schott.
Levesque said Tuesday that the board initially hoped the hotel could be operated as a hotel, but a feasibility study showed that wasn’t possible.
“The fact that [Schott] is going to use [the housing] for what it was initially designed for — to support sailors — is fine with us,” he said.
The developer also is negotiating to purchase three other parcels at Brunswick Landing, but would not identify them nor discuss potential uses other than that they would be “for future development.”
Schott said he’s encouraged by the “aggressive” development planned by Jim Howard.
Howard, of Topsham, announced in March that he would invest $27 million in projects at the former Navy base. He announced that he would lease two buildings to a private school serving children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, and also plans to develop “some food services, a financial institution, an office building, and a mixed-use office building with warehouse loading dock space,” he said.
Howard’s plans for development, Schott said, are “real good for all of us.”