Riverfront Redevelopment shifts from deconstruction to construction

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — For the last several months those passing by the Riverfront Redevelopment Project at the former Moosehead Manufacturing and Mayo mill property downtown have seen crews working on the exterior of the building. The public had the opportunity to see the numerous improvements already made on the inside to convert the site into a mixed-use facility during an open house on July 21.

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    WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE — Jonathan Arnold of the Arnold Development Group leads a tour of the Riverfront Redevelopment Project in downtown Dover-Foxcroft on the evening of July 21. The public had the opportunity to see the work on the former Moosehead Manufacturing property, which is currently in the midst of a shift from a deconstruction to a construction phase to convert the building into a mixed-use facility.

    As the crowd of approximately 175 gathered inside on the summer evening, developer Jonathan Arnold of the Arnold Development Group in Kansas City, Mo. explained the project is now shifting from the deconstruction to construction phase. “We are proud to have you here for this open house,” he said as the sound of the Piscataquis River going over the adjacent dam could be heard in the background.

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    FUTURE HOMES — The third floor of the Riverfront Redevelopment Project building is open at the present time, but the top and second levels will become 22 residential apartments. The living quarters will include single and multiple bedrooms at different square footage totals.

    “What you are going to see is a lot of demolition and cleanup,” Arnold said, as hazardous materials — such as lead paint and asbestos — have been removed from the building prior to the beginning of the construction phase. He said at the start of the tour the dozens of attendees were standing in the oldest part of the facility, built in 1887, and as they walked along the property they would see a system of different structures.
    “We are standing now in the restaurant,” Arnold said, with this dining space overlooking the waterfalls. He said the nearby brick building will be the site of a cafe and “to the right is space where there will be a farmers’ market, hopefully.”
    Arnold led the tour, which included some former employees of Moosehead Manufacturing, through to a concrete building he said would be office space on the ground-level floor. “The space we are standing in now is what we call the interior street, it connects the parking area to the different parts of the mill,” he said. When asked Arnold said the property would have three parking areas, with one close to the building, another farther away and the third being shared with the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church.

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    VIEWS OF THE RIVER — The Riverfront Redevelopment will provide views of the Piscataquis River from the third floor, above, and the water flowing over the adjacent dam.


    “We would like to create office space not for some big company from away that will leave but to take advantage of the Three-Ring Binder and the hydroelectricity,” he said. Arnold said, adding a goal of the offices and other portions of the Riverfront Redevelopment Project are to keep the usage prices affordable.
    The office units can vary in size depending on what the renter desires. “At the end of this space is what we call the flex space,” Arnold said. He explained this area of the first floor could be used for seminars by the tenants. “You have the ability to rent what you need and use other things when you need it,” he said.
    Arnold said the second and third floors will together house 22 residential apartments overlooking the Piscataquis River. He invited the tour-goers to head upstairs to see the future living quarters. At the present time the floors are open with only the supporting beams in place, but walls will be built to create the separate apartments of one- and two-bedroom units with varying square footages.
    The Riverfront Redevelopment Project involves over $11 million in various public and private funding sources. According to the project website,, the opening is scheduled for the spring of 2015.
    Other planned components of the 60,000 square foot mixed-use site include a data center, boutique inn, Internet cafe and art studios and artisans ateliers.

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    CHANGING DOWNTOWN — What was once the site of Moosehead Manufacturing, which closed for good at the Dover-Foxcroft site a decade ago, will now house commercial and office space, apartments and more when the Riverfront Redevelopment Project opens its doors. The current plan is for opening to take place next spring.

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