Part of the work on the plan included research with site selectors and industry and community leaders to examine how the park can evolve and meet the needs of not only businesses, but the entire community.
The marketing plan includes an updated logo and tagline and brands FirstPark as "Maine's most connected business park." The park's real estate options include high-speed fiber and 17 shovel-ready, pre-permitted sites that have the park poised for growth in the next three years.
"Our board made the decision to move forward with a strategic plan that will help promote everything we have to offer. Through the process with Marshall Communications, we identified several ways we can gain more exposure for the park which will attract more businesses and community organizations to locate to FirstPark. We know we have an ideal location off I-95 and we realize we need to do a better job of promoting it. Thousands of people drive by our sign on Kennedy Memorial Drive every day and haven't seen what the park has to offer. We're working to change that, not only locally, but nationally, as well." said Jim Dinkle, executive director of FirstPark.
In the last few months, FirstPark has applied for new grants and started to make improvements to their marketing efforts, including a new e-newsletter and increase focus on social media. One of the newest tenants is the nonprofit Waterville Community Dental Center, which serves northern Kennebec and Somerset counties.
“Because of major renovations in the Waterville Creates! building in downtown Waterville, where we had been located for 18 years, we needed a new home. Our search led us to FirstPark and the new location has been perfect for our employees and our patients. We are still near downtown Waterville but have improved access with a location closer to the highway and plenty of parking. The staff enjoy being part of the FirstPark community,” said Dr. Barbara Covey, president of the board of the Waterville Community Dental Center.
The marketing plan is designed to promote the attributes that make the park attractive to businesses, including shovel-ready lots, protective covenants, innovative technology and infrastructure. FirstPark's largest tenant is
T-Mobile, which has expressed interest in expansion, and the business park in Oakland is also home to several other businesses ranging from accounting services to medical offices.
As a result of the strategic plan, FirstPark is planning to attract more members of the community to the park, which will lead to more exposure and contribute to the quality of life for the community. Plans include connecting the park with the Messalonskee Trail system to give employees in the park walking options in addition to the paved sidewalks that already exist. This year, FirstPark is planning to add a dog park, which would enable more employees of businesses in the park to bring their dog to work and also benefit the community.
Residential living space is another way the park is looking to address the need for more affordable housing in the region. With local colleges Colby College, Kennebec Valley Community College and Thomas College nearby, affordable housing could help not only students to live local, but also attract employees to live in the park and reduce their commute time, adding to their quality of life.
"The Kennebec Regional Development Authority (KRDA) represents 24 different municipalities that support economic development through job creation; you won't find this type of support for another business park in the county. With the addition of FirstPark, KRDA has become the largest single job creator in central Maine over the past 50 years. FirstPark has many available site locations available that provide the same amenities and opportunities that T-Mobile found when they located in the Park in 2006. FirstPark is a hidden gem and we're excited about the plan to promote it," said Mike Roy, president of KRDA.
To learn more about FirstPark and available opportunities, visit