PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Construction crews are busy building a road and installing water and sewer pipes on a 26 acre parcel of land off of Rand Road that will become the city's first biotechnology business park.
"We have a lot of different types of locations for businesses in Portland, what we have never had was a business park," stated Nelle Hanig, business programs manager for the city of Portland. "Some companies don't want to be in industrial areas. It just doesn't work for them."
"This park is an opportunity for life science companies to cluster together and create more than the sum of their parts, share ideas, share resources," she added.
The biotechnology park will be built in two phases, with the first section ready to welcome new businesses early next summer. In all, city officials envision seven separate buildings being built on the site, with about 120,000 square feet of space developed.
The design calls for the park to have a wooded, campus-like feel with businesses being restricted on the amount of truck traffic and heavy duty manufacturing allowed in the development.
"When you cluster like-minded businesses together in a campus-like atmosphere, that that creates a type of innovation and there is a robustness to it that spins off other businesses," explained Portland Mayor Michael Brennan. "Businesses and jobs are created by innovation, and we need to bring together the resources and the pieces together to foster that innovation."
The project is being paid for by the city and by funds made available by the US Department of Commerce.