In an e-mail to constituents yesterday, Biddeford mayor Alan Casavant wrote the following about mill redevelopment in that city’s downtown: “A parking garage MUST come before a large anchor tenant. Currently, we do not have the parking to attract an anchor tenant, though there has been a lot of interest. All potential tenants have said that they need parking for their customers and employees. No parking, no big tenants.”
Our view, as we’ve stated before, is that Casavant is right on the money. That’s how development works. Biddeford’s mill district will never land a large anchor tenant if the current parking ceiling stays in place.
Now that doesn’t mean a big anchor tenant can’t come to downtown Biddeford-Saco right now --- specifically, to Saco Island. Saco Island has plenty of available parking and plenty of mill space (if you haven’t yet, WATCH THIS VIDEO.) Large tenants can easily call Saco Island home, and our parent company has an exceptional track record in accommodating clients who need lots of parking.
Biddeford should build that parking garage. We support their effort to ignore short-sighted naysayers and move forward, because we share one economy. If they do well, we do well. If we do well, they do well. And continued success will BUILD the tax base in both cities, something the naysayers just can’t fathom.
But let’s make sure interested parties from outside this region know that as a unit, Biddeford and Saco are open for business right now, and together we can absorb even very large businesses who need lots of parking.