GARDINER — Officials at MaineGeneral Medical Center have revised plans for opening a medical facility in downtown Gardiner at the former T.W. Dick property.

Instead, plans are in the works for an express care facility to be built on Brunswick Avenue, across from Libby Hill Road, not far from Interstate 295.

“We are in final negotiations on a long-term lease for the future facility,” said Paul Stein, MaineGeneral Medical Center’s chief operating officer. “I hope in the next couple of weeks we can get it done.”

The building is expected to go on one of seven lots in the Central Maine Crossing subdivision. At the July 10 Gardiner Planning Board meeting, James Coffin, of E.S. Coffin Engineering & Surveying, presented a proposal on behalf of Central Maine Crossing for a subdivision preliminary plan review.

Documents on file with the city note that the owner of the property has a lease agreement in place with MaineGeneral to build a 16,000-square-foot urgent care facility with an expected staff of 70.

“The T.W. Dick site didn’t work out,” Stein said. “Once we got to start working with the architect, we realized there was not enough parking for the business that we needed.”

In 2015, Gardiner city officials in collaboration with MaineGeneral Medical Center, issued a request for qualifications for developers to redevelop the site of the former T.W. Dick property at Bridge and Summer streets at the edge of the city’s downtown neighborhood.

City officials had acquired four parcels that had been owned by the steel fabricator and pieced together funding from state and federal sources to clean up the contaminants that had been found there. Summer Street runs along Cobbossee Stream, which has been the site of industrial uses for two centuries.

Securing one portion of that funding required having a developer interested in the property.

At the time, MaineGeneral officials had signed a letter of intent signaling their desire to move Gardiner Family Medicine and some other functions from its Dresden Avenue location, where expansion was not possible, to a more central location in Gardiner. The project would also help with community revitalization.

The Portland-based Developers Collaborative was chosen to develop the site in December 2015, and started work on identifying options for the properties.

Developers Collaborative is currently completing work on building for Fresenius Medical Care on Summer Street, which will occupy an 8,000-square-foot facility for a kidney care center.

While work started on developing proposals for senior and workforce housing, no progress was made on 1 Summer St., the site identified for a medical arts building. As it now stands, only workforce housing is being contemplated.

Mayor Thom Harnett said city officials have revised option agreements with Developers Collaborative, noting that the documents have been amended as plans for those parcels have changed.

“I’m not going to hide from the fact that we were hoping (MaineGeneral) would go downtown, but it didn’t work out,” he said.

Harnett said he’s happy the facility is staying in Gardiner, but it’s unfortunate that the high-visibility property was held for MaineGeneral for so long.

It’s not clear that hospital officials withdrew their letter of intent or signaled its change of plans.

Interim City Manager Anne Davis said the project was not confirmed for city officials until the Planning Board meeting earlier this month.

“It does not change our plans for the T.W. Dick site,” Davis said. “We are still looking for a good tenant for that site.”

Now, the property at 1 Summer St., along with an adjacent parcel on Highland Avenue can be marketed for development, and the city will have the ability exercise a veto if needed.

“It’s a prime piece of property with 17,000 cars that go by it every day,” Harnett said. “It can be an attractive gateway for the city.”

In presenting the proposal to the Planning Board, Coffin referred to designs for the hospital that have already been completed.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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