Gorham Economic Development Committee Meeting, April 15th @ 8:00am

Note: This meeting will be conducted via Zoom videoconferencing platform. Click on the following link to access the meeting through Zoom. https://zoom.us/j/804422934. To join the meeting via phone the number to call is 1(312)626-6799, with the Webinar ID being 804 422 934.

GEDC Agenda_(April2020) Final

Gorham Economic Development Committee, Special Session – April 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM

GEDC Special Session Agenda_040120

Note:  This meeting will be conducted via Zoom videoconferencing platform.  Click on the following link to access the meeting through Zoom. https://zoom.us/j/595869885

New Economic Development Director joins Town of Gorham

Kevin Jensen joined the Town of Gorham as Economic Development Director for the Department of Community Development in January 2020.  Kevin brings extensive experience in grant management, workforce development, and fundraising with a career that includes leadership positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  He earned a Master in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and comes to Gorham after living and working in New York City for ten years.  Kevin is excited to bring together his past work experience, skill set and education to address the economic needs and priorities of Gorham.

“This role will also require me to learn a great deal from colleagues, GEDC members and community leaders, and that will be one of my first priorities on the job,” says Kevin.  “My goal is to become a trusted advocate for the business community, and I will work hard to make available my time and resources to support Gorham’s businesses.”

Gorham Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak:  “With extensive experience in grant management and workforce development, and a deeply-rooted desire to serve his community and make a positive impact where he lives, we are thrilled to have Kevin and look forward to what the future holds for economic development in Gorham.”

The Blue Pig Diner’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Yesterday, November 13, The Blue Pig Diner held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at their new location at 19 State Street.  Members from the Town of Gorham staff, Town Council, Gorham Economic Development Corporation and Gorham Business Exchange were pleased to attend the event. Their official reopening was November 14 at 7 am!

Gorham Industrial Park Referendum

At the September 3, 2019 Town Council Meeting, the Town Council voted to authorize a voter referendum for the November 5, 2019 Election for the purchase of two vacant parcels for the development of a new industrial park in Gorham.

The Town of Gorham is requesting voter approval of a $5.9 million bond to fund the purchase, design and construction of the next phase of the Gorham Industrial Park. The land to be purchased is identified on the Assessing Tax Maps as Map 30, Lot 1 and Map 29, Lot 1. The lots are located between Main Street and Cyr Drive and have a combined total area of 141 +/- acres. The parcels have the ability to connect into public sewer and water, natural gas, and 3 phase power.

Why does the Town need to invest in designing and construction of the next phase of the Gorham Industrial Park?

  • In order to provide a balance between the ability to provide adequate municipal services and the ability/ willingness of Town’s taxpayers to pay for these services, a balance between differing property tax types (residential, commercial, industrial) is necessary. When not enough industrial/ commercial lands are available for easy development, the property tax burden is drastically shifted onto residential property.
  • Gorham’s tax burden is already heavily relying on residential property taxes with residential properties tax accounting for 82.54% of property taxes paid.
  • Gorham has been in the top five fastest growing Town’s in the state for a number of years. The Town continues to receive awards making it more desirable for families to locate to Gorham; Rated 2nd for “The Best Towns in Maine for Young Families” and “4th Safest Town in Maine”, Single-family residential growth puts a higher burden on municipal services than commercial and industrial development.
  • Currently only 2 Gorham industrial park lots are vacant, totaling 4.83 acres, without construction or site plan approval. In order to provide a variety of lot sizes for industrial development, these large industrial parcels need to be purchased and go through the subdivision approval process.
  • To date, no private developer or other non-profit entity is willing to undertake the purchase of the land, seek the necessary local, state, and federal approvals, and construction of the next phases of the Gorham industrial Park.
  • The Town anticipates that the required bonding will be more than covered through sales of the lot and taxes acquired from the new properties developed in the new Gorham Industrial Park.

The Town has hired Woodard & Curran Engineers to look at the parcels to develop a couple of different conceptual subdivision plans to help envision what an industrial park at this location may look like. It should be noted that these plans are conceptual and have the possibility to drastically change as the property proceeds through the engineering and permitting process. See conceptual plans provided below:

Concept 1:

Concept 2:

Harvey Performance breaks ground on new manufacturing plant

Harvey Performance, Inc. President Pete Jenkins talks about the project

employees and invited guests get ready for the groundbreaking

sketch of the site to be developed

On June 25, 2019 The rain drops held off long enough for Harvey Performance, Inc. to break ground on their new manufacturing plant located on Rt 202. The company, which makes an array of high precision drill bits for industrial applications, will be moving their operation from their current location in the Gorham Industrial Park with occupancy expected around this time next year. The plant will be built in two phases with the first phase totaling 77,000  +/- sq. ft and an additional 36,000 sq. ft. in phase 2. The Town of Gorham is delighted that Harvey Performance chose to grow their business with us. We will update their progress in these posts as construction begins.

Members of the GEDC and GBE tour FlowFold, Inc.

On March 6, 2019 members of the Gorham Economic Development Corporation and Gorham Business Exchange toured one of Gorham’s newest businesses, FlowFold, Inc. Located on Sanford Drive in the Gorham Industrial Park, the company manufactures products such as wallets, backpacks, and pet products such as leashes and collars using recycled materials. Company owners James Morin, Charlie Friedman, and Devin McNeill gave an overview of the manufacturing process and history and growth story of the company. We are proud to have FlowFold as members of the Gorham business community!

Hops & Vine grand opening

Hops & Vine, a specialty beer and wine store have opened in the Village Mall. A grand opening and ribbon cutting was held October 12th. We are thrilled to have this new business in Gorham and wish them the best of luck in this new venture!

Flowfold Finalizes Acquisition of New Headquarters

Flowfold continues growth streak and will be expanding their team and moving its headquarters to Gorham as early as November of this year.

Portland, ME; October 3, 2018‐ Flowfold, a rapidly growing outdoor and lifestyle brand, is excited to announce the acquisition of a 7,500 sq ft multi-tenant industrial building in Gorham, Maine. The building purchase, made by Flowfold Real Estate LLC, officially closed on Tuesday, October 2nd and marks a transformative event for the young Maine company. Flowfold will be upgrading from roughly 1,300 sq ft of office space to 3,000 square feet of open production space perfectly suited for manufacturing, product storage, and an open office layout.

“This is the future of Flowfold” James Morin, co-owner of Flowfold says. “This is going to be where we take Flowfold to the next level. Where we really put Flowfold on the map.” Flowfold, which recently received national attention for its new co-lab collection with L.L.Bean, says that the new space is the result of consistent year over year growth. “We’ve seen growth in all of our channels. From flowfold.com, to small retail, even to rapid expansion internationally, specifically in Japan and South Korea” Morin continues. “We couldn’t scale at our current location. We need more equipment and we need more people, and we needed more space to fit it all.”

Renovations are underway, and in true Flowfold fashion, the team is getting in on the action themselves. “We’ve gotten to this point through grit and hard work.” Morin says “And that doesn’t stop now just because our address changes. We’ll be in there nights and weekends doing as much of the work ourselves as possible. That’s always been the Flowfold way. This is our new home, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get our hands a little dirty”.

Justin Lamontagne, CCIM, SIOR of NAI The Dunham Group, assisted in Flowfold’s site search and brokered the sale of the property. Flowfold hopes to move into their new headquarters sometime this November and will be working with several local companies throughout the process. Joe Hemes, HEMESphere Design LLC will be doing the architectural work and Stephanie Brock with Re-Thread will be making recommendations on office layout and creating an innovative and collaborative work environment.

“We want to create the most sustainable, durable, and functional gear on the planet,” Morin concludes. “We’re that serious about our products, and we’re that serious about this location. It’s going to be beautiful.”


About Flowfold

Flowfold is leading a revolution in the design of outdoor gear. From their workshop in Maine, they use state of the art materials to craft gear that is lighter, stronger, and guaranteed to last longer.

They do this for all the fresh air addicts, skinny dippers, and serenity seekers that share a common lust for adventure. Every Flowfold item is handmade in the USA using the world’s strongest and lightest fabrics and comes with a Lifetime Warranty.

Flowfold can be found at www.flowfold.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Story highlighted

by SNEWS- The ascent of Flowfold, a once-obscure wallet company now partnering with L.L.Bean

Maine Optometry Breaks Ground

We are pleased to announce the groundbreaking for a new multistory office building at the corner of Rt 25/Rt237. This building is the first development in this commercial subdivision and will be home to Maine Optometry and other tenants. Town officials including Tom Poirier, Town Planner, and Tom Ellsworth of the GEDC participated in the ceremonial “shovel toss” on September 26, 2018. We are pleased to have Maine Optometry join the business  community. Opening will be in early 2019.