What is redevelopment? How does it differ from development?

A lot of people ask me how and why redevelopment takes place, and how it differs from what we traditionally think of as development. Redevelopers take what already exists by way of resources within existing structures and reuse it. It is a really challenging business, but it is extraordinarily rewarding. The impact, both on the community and environment, is significantly lower than the alternative. In what others write off as old, unmanageable buildings and property (which is how some once saw what is now the bustling Ballard Center), we see opportunity.

Vickery Cafe opens eatery at Ballard Center

(Augusta, Maine) A popular eatery on Water Street in Augusta has opened a second location, at 6 East Chestnut Street.

Colleen Tyler, owner of the Vickery Cafe in downtown Augusta, and Deidra Constanty, longtime Vickery employee, have opened The Ballard Café, located in Ballard Center, a large commercial redevelopment project launched by Dirigo Capital Advisors in 2014. The Ballard Café serves breakfast, lunch and coffee, and its hours are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

“We just opened a week ago, but business is already booming,” Tyler said.

The 250,000 sq. foot Ballard Center, formerly the MaineGeneral hospital complex, sits on 20 acres of land in Augusta’s East Chestnut Street neighborhood. The developer said The Ballard Cafe adds to the “downtown ambience” that he’s trying to encourage in the East Chestnut Street neighborhood.

"We’re bringing an enhanced, first class office experience to Augusta that is hard to find anywhere else in Kennebec Valley,” said Kevin Mattson, president of Dirigo Capital Advisors. “Essentially we’re building a micro-community. Things like cafes, a gym, and other unique amenities make the professional experience much more enjoyable for everyone, and also add more options for everyone else in the neighborhood.”

“That’s why The Vickery fits in so well here. They’ve been in business for twenty years on Water Street, so we consider it a coup for us to land their culinary talents on this side of the river.”

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Colleen Tyler, owner of the Vickery Cafe in downtown Augusta, and Deidra Constanty, longtime Vickery employee, have opened The Ballard Café, located in Ballard Center.

The Ballard Café serves breakfast, lunch and coffee.