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February 22, 2019

Pepperell Mill’s new apartments accompanied by rebranding

Courtesy / Pepperell Mill Campus
Courtesy / Pepperell Mill Campus
New apartments that will be ready for tenants this spring at Pepperell Mill in Biddeford include original hardwood floors and exposed brick. The apartments bring the number of residential units at the campus to 151, part of 700,000 square feet of developed space at the complex.

New apartments in the sprawling Pepperell Mill campus in Biddeford will be available shortly, combined with a rebranding of the mill, which now has 700,000 square feet of commercial and residential space filled.

Eastland Construction and Management said that 51 new apartments will be available this spring, added to the existing 100.

The announcement said that the mill is also rebranding and will shortly unveil a website redesign, led by Portland-based branding and media company Trueline, that will allow commercial tenants to have their own landing page on the website and more easily contract for services through Eastland.

Megan Higgins, director of leasing, said that the "is tailored to attract new commercial tenants as well as add value to our existing businesses."

In terms of supporting the local economy, "I would say we've hit a critical mass," Higgins said. "Not only are we our own community — we also rely on local businesses."

She said as contractors, Eastland buys supplies from local vendors, including Dupuis Hardware and Deering Lumber.

Continuing to develop

The mill has 121 businesses that employ more than 500 people. The variety of tenants among the mill's businesses range from Banded Horn Brewing and tasting room, to Ocean's Balance edible seaweed producer to Think Tank coworking space.

Overall, the former textile mill complex covers 17 acres in downtown Biddeford and includes 16 buildings with more than 1 million square feet of space, which is methodically being developed into commercial, residential and industrial uses by developer Doug Sanford.

Sanford started buying and fixing up buildings in Biddeford in the early 1980s, and bought Pepperell in two chunks, in 2004 and 2010.

Last fall, the mill installed a 1,192-panel solar array on the roof of the mills that will cover 1.5 acres and produce 437,320 kilowatt hours of energy annually for the apartments at the mill.

He said at the time that the array, which was installed last fall, would be enough to power the 100 existing apartments as well as the 51 planned new ones.

Eastland's renovations for new apartments feature original hardwood floors, exposed brick and modern efficiencies, Higgins said in the release.

"It's unbelievable to see the growth and transformation," Higgins said in the release. "Combined with businesses that now occupy 700,000 square feet, they create a community within a community."

Eastland has done all of the renovation itself, working "day and night" to meet demand for the new units, Higgins said.

The units will be available for rent once the website is launched.

"Opportunities like this one, where we're focused on boosting revenues and supporting communities, show what our team is capable of," said Trueline's CEO Haj Carr.

Any business operating in the mill has access to hire their general contracting services through Eastland, the contractor for the apartments. The result is time and cost savings versus needing to find outside tradespeople to provide services ranging from plumbing to installing Wi-Fi, the company said.

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