Following an executive session on March 15, the Wiscasset Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to accept Peregrine Consulting LLC’s offer on two properties formerly owned by Mason Station LLC.
Two homes on South Point Drive will serve as the future office space for Peregrine Turbine Technologies, which will lease the space from Peregrine Consulting, Peregrine Consulting President and Peregrine Turbine Technologies CEO David Stapp said.
Peregrine Turbine Technologies, currently located at the Wiscasset Municipal Airport, is in the process of developing a highly efficient turbine engine that has been called a “transformational” technology, according to press reports.
The growing business is in need of additional space, Stapp said, especially as it moves into testing and manufacturing. Stapp has searched Wiscasset and neighboring communities for a location where the business “could establish a larger footprint,” Stapp said.
“My heart is in Wiscasset,” Stapp said. “I freely confess that. I have a soft place in my heart (for the town). I believe it has great potential as a platform for business development and I would like my business to be part of that picture.”
The sale is the first of the approximately 79 Mason Station LLC subdivision lots Wiscasset foreclosed on, Dunbar said. Following a lengthy court battle, Wiscasset’s ownership of the property and right to collect about $850,000 in back taxes was confirmed in a Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruling in May 2015.
Wiscasset selectmen instructed Realtor Sherri Dunbar, of Tim Dunham Realty, to aggressively pursue the sale of the Mason Station properties in July 2015. The two lots on South Point Drive were the first to be listed for sale, Dunbar said.
Peregrine Consulting offered $200,000 for 23 and 29 South Point Drive, model homes that were built in 2006 as part of the Point East Maritime Village development, Stapp said. “These buildings will make very nice office spaces,” he said. “It’s a good move for us. I’m quite happy they’ve accepted our offer.”
The deal is expected to close on May 16, Chair Ben Rines said. “The members of the board were very, very happy,” Rines said. “They wanted to put a sign up outside the town office.”
“This is very exciting,” Dunbar said. “I’m thrilled to possibly be bringing something back to the area.”
The sale of the properties to a business such as Peregrine Consulting means more than just tax revenue for Wiscasset, Dunbar said; the growing business could bring more jobs and economic opportunity to the area.
“It’s bringing (the properties) back from the abyss,” Dunbar said. “This is really going to help the town.”
As Peregrine Turbine Technologies moves into the manufacturing phase of its operations, “all options are on the table” in terms of potential locations, Stapp said.
There are significant barriers to purchasing the Mason Station plant, Stapp said, particularly with the environmental cleanup needed. “When I consider space needs for manufacturing in the future, I certainly haven’t discounted Mason Station,” he said.