The Story of Great Falls Development Group
As many business ventures begin, the story of Great Falls Development Group starts over a mug of finely crafted Maine brew and a bar napkin. It was from here that current President Peter Flanders and Treasurer Rick Roy formulated an idea. This idea would go on to become the basic foundation for what GFDG stands for today.
Invest in the future of Lewiston + Auburn and provide quality market rate apartments and unmatched customer service. It has been identified in multiple studies that the Central Maine area is greatly under-served in its number of quality market rate rental options. The plan of Peter and Rick was to assemble a team to invest and provide just such a service.
The next step would be to find such a team. Each member would bring a specific and strategic skill set to the table, along with of course, investment money. Starting in 2008 and over nearly a year, Great Falls Development Group slowly began to take shape. People with backgrounds in Sales, Law, Real Estate, Contracting, Building, Construction and Architecture were all thrown into the mix. Many months of meetings, discussion and brainstorming were had. Many slices of pizza consumed. Eventually the group was narrowed to the 7 professional individuals who make up GFDG today. With the team now in place, and the name of the Company decided upon, it was time to search for the first Great Falls Development Group project.
The First Building:
A continually dropping real estate market and over abundance of available properties put GFDG in a good position to carefully select their first project. After many dozens of buildings it was decided that Sylvan Avenue would be the first building the join the Great Falls Development Group family. It was purchased in late 2009 and thus began GFDG’s first encounter as landlord and property owner. Sylvan was in quite good shape as purchased, but in keeping with the goal of the company from the beginning, to go above and beyond, many upgrades and much “freshening up” was done to prepare the building for the best possible tenant experience. With a little less than a year under its belt and a winter behind it, it was time to look forward to the next GFDG venture.
From Condemned to Quality Living:
In early 2010 Great Falls Development group decided it was ready to challenge itself with a project that would bring great reward not only to the group, but also the Bates College neighborhood. By that summer, GFDG was proud owner of a 4 unit Wood Street building for little more than the cost of the average new pickup truck. Purchased as a foreclosure, the building had been vacant nearly two years, was boarded up and looted of all valuable copper and heating systems. Needless to say, this would be more than your average fixer-upper. A significant financial investment, and hundreds upon hundreds of sweat equity hours later, 68 Wood Street opened it’s doors to its first tenant’s in nearly two years. Once a blighted eye-sore on a neighborhood street corner, this over 100 year old building had been proudly restored to its former glory. The neighborhood residents were sure to show their appreciation for GFDG’s hard work in beautifying their community.
A Commitment Continues:
It has always been a strong part of Great Falls Development Group’s belief that the twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn hold an enormous potential. Much of this potential goes unnoticed by many, and much of this potential centers on one of L+A’s greatest and most unique resources. The Androscoggin River. It is for this reason in 2011, that GFDG was drawn to the Historic New Auburn neighborhood and what would become its third property located on Second Street. Situated with stunning river views on the hill in New Auburn, 110 Second Street was another turn of the century building in relatively good shape. But again, in an effort to provide rental units far above and beyond the typical quality customers would find in the area, GFDG has spent much effort improving the safety, appearance and energy efficiency of the building. It was Great Falls first venture across the bridge into Auburn, and there is no doubt it will be far from the last.
New Auburn momentum:
Building upon their Second Street New Auburn investment GFDG looked to continue momentum in a neighborhood positioned for a very bright future. 15 Broad Street was one of the first buildings built after the devastating New Auburn fire of 1933. The waterfront 6 unit brick structure would prove to be the GFDG team’s biggest project to date. The completely renovated two bedroom units feature re-finished original hardwood floors throughout, completely renovated bathrooms and great river views.