R1 Success Story: Mayo Mill, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine
EPA Grant Recipient:
Pine Crest Development Corp
Cleanup, Revolving Loan Funds
Retail, Commercial Property
Woolen Mill, Furniture
Download Success Story:
Mayo Mill Dover-Foxcroft, Maine (pdf)
For over 100 years Mayo Mill provided jobs in wool and wood production for the town of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. It has now been redeveloped into a thriving multi-purpose and mixed-use complex of sought-after apartments and offices that are drawing new residents and businesses into the downtown area. An unprecedented shared vision among a group of partners - good timing and realistic goals led to the redevelopment of this abandoned and contaminated mill into 80,000 square feet of residential housing, commercial use, and a data center expanding much needed broadband internet access for this rural town of 4,200 residents.
Mayo Mill was the site of multiple woolen mills beginning in 1886 and was later taken over by the Moosehead Manufacturing Company, a high-end wooden furniture factory from the 1950's until 2007 when the mill ceased its operations. The mill complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 due to its association with the textile industries in Maine and its significant contribution to the town's history. The mill sits along the Piscataquis River in downtown Dover-Foxcroft, the largest town in Piscataquis County.
The Moosehead Manufacturing Company, which once employed more than 200 people, closed its doors for good in 2007. In 2009, the mill became town property through a tax foreclosure. Pine Crest Development Corporation, a non-profit economic development corporation, bought the property and took the lead with the town's help. Site assessment activities conducted by the Piscataquis County of Economic Development Council and Maine DEP funded through Brownfields grants helped determine that contamination throughout the mill consisted of asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, mold, and other wastes. The property was cleaned up after receiving funds through the EPA and other financial partnerships, including EPA Brownfields cleanup grants and revolving loan funds, along with private redevelopment funding. Historic tax credits were given by state and federal governments. In 2019, a private developer purchased the property with the intent to renovate the building as a multi-reuse development with spectacular waterfront views along the banks of the Piscataquis River.
|Brownfields Assessment Grant Funding
|US EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grants (2)
|Maine Statewide Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund
|Piscataquis County Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund
|Northern Maine Development Commission Brownfields RLF
|Total EPA Brownfields Investment
This over $12M project also received state and federal historic tax credits and funding from the US Economic Development Administration, US Department of Agriculture, Northern Border Commission, and other state, local, and private sources.
"The Mayo Mill was a success because the community had a vision for the future of the mill, mixed-use residential, and commercial redevelopment, and it was fortunate enough to work with a developer willing to share the same vision and stay committed to making it a reality. There were people along the way who said that the project couldn’t be done, but the developer always said this is a project that has to be done. The Mayo Mill project not only revitalized our historic downtown, but it has since inspired several other investments throughout the community."Jack Clukey, Town Manager
Dover Foxcroft, Maine
The Mill at Dover-Foxcroft now offers 22 affordable market-rate apartments and over 10,000 square feet of office and commercial space, to include a possible restaurant, brew pub, and farmers' market. Within walking distance to downtown's Main Street and located directly on the water, Mayo Mill has a long waiting list of potential tenants. This list includes many seniors who want to stay in the community where they have lived since childhood, where one can stay, work, play, and live in the heart of downtown Dover-Foxcroft. Residents who want to avoid a commute can rent 100 or 200-square foot sunlit offices just below their home and conveniently walk downstairs to work. With many people working at home in 2020 and beyond, this popular feature has been in high demand. The popularity of the residential units led developers to make plans for 22 more such apartments in the future.
In addition to the residential and commercial space, the renovated Mayo Mill boasts a six-room boutique hotel and has created over 42 new jobs for the community. With three separate fiber optic networks converging in Dover-Foxcroft and bringing reliable high-speed internet to the building, a state-of-the-art data center is attracting new businesses to the area, including one which has moved from Connecticut. The University of Maine has also capitalized on this infrastructure by utilizing the data center as a hub to connect the networks of several of the university's campuses.
The renovated mill buildings incorporate renewable energy generated from a modern geothermal heating and cooling system installed at the mill. Future plans entail restoring a hydro-electric power generator from a historic part of the former mill to provide the entire complex with renewable electricity - approximately 1,361 Megawatt hours each year. This is about twice the amount of energy anticipated to be consumed on the property, so the excess power will be used downtown and/or sold back to the grid. This innovative feature along with the high-speed internet and multi-use renovations has made Mayo Mill a model for for sustainable redevelopment while returning vitality and community living in this historic town.