GARDINER — In less than two months, the next chapter for the T.W. Dick property may be revealed.

City officials, in collaboration with MaineGeneral Medical Center, have issued a request for proposals to develop the property at Summer and Bridge streets into a 10,000-square-foot to 15,000-square-foot medical arts building.

This move is the next step in the city’s plan to remediate hazardous waste at the site and bring a high-visibility blighted property into more productive use.

“It’s been a really long process, getting ready to issue this RFP,” Scott Morelli, Gardiner city manager, said. “Things will move pretty quickly now, and we’ll have a dilapidated eyesore taken care of. And we’ll be able to take advantage of the last underdeveloped area on the Cobbossee Corridor.”

The Cobbossee Corridor is the area around the Cobbossee Stream from New Mills dam to the Kennebec River, and it’s the focus of city planning efforts that would combine residential, commercial and mixed-use development in the area, incorporating recreational opportunities.

MaineGeneral’s interest in the site stems partly from limited space at its current facility on Dresden Avenue and partly because it has had success in partnering with other communities in similar ways. Nicole McSweeney, vice president for Development and Communications for MaineGeneral, pointed to projects in both Waterville and Winthrop. In 2013, MaineGeneral announced it would relocate more than 150 employees to the Hathaway Creative Center in downtown Waterville in an effort to contribute to downtown revitalization. In Winthrop, Winthrop Family Medicine is located in an old mill in the downtown.


“Our model is to be where the people are and to help in community revitalization,” she said. “If we were successful (in Waterville and Winthrop), we can be successful in Gardiner.”

MaineGeneral Chief Operating Officer Paul Stein in an August letter to the city, noted that this collaboration could bring additional benefits to the city because MaineGeneral is seeking to lease the developed space, which would preserve property tax revenue for the city.

The new facility would house a primary care family practice with open access and extended hours, imaging and lab services and certain specialty practices. It would replace the current facility on Dresden Avenue.

Proposals are due on Nov. 6. The Summer Street Task Force, made up of two city councilors, the city manager, the city’s economic development coordinator, a representative from the city’s Brownfields Committee and a representative from MaineGeneral, will review the proposals and make a recommendation to the city council in early December.

City officials have been working to secure federal grants to pay for the site’s cleanup. Last year, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding paid for an assessment of the property with $400,000 in brownfields grants awarded in 2013. The assessment showed the presence of a number of contaminants on the site.

Morelli said different avenues are available for the city to secure grants for cleanup, including one that requires having a developer and project lined up.


T.W. Dick, a steel fabrication company, has been only the latest industrial use of the site. Historical records show the site has been used for nearly two centuries for both homes and a host of industrial uses — foundries, blacksmith shops, woodworking, machine shops, shoe-making and lumber sheds. The property has been vacant since 2010.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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