News, Maine commercial real estate

As reported today by the Kennebec Journal:

Two GOP notables join Dirigo Capital board of advisers

By Paul Koenig 
Staff Writer

The company heading major development projects in Augusta and Waterville, including two MaineGeneral Health properties, recently brought in two prominent Republican party members as advisers.

Dirigo Capital Advisors, LLC announced this week that Rick Bennett, chairman of the Maine Republican Party and vice chairman of GMI Ratings, and Philip Harriman, former state senator and partner at a Falmouth law firm, joined its newly formed board of advisers at the beginning of the summer.

Kevin Mattson, president and one of the owners of Dirigo Capital Advisors, formerly Mattson Development, said bringing Bennett and Harriman on board is needed as the company takes on larger projects.

"They bring with them a maturity that a company that has grown to our size really needs," Mattson said.

The real estate development company often buys older, vacant property and renovates it for commercial use. Its most recent projects include MaineGeneral Health's East Chestnut Street hospital, slated to be closed at the end of the year; and the Seton campus of MaineGeneral Health in Waterville.

The board of advisers will provide guidance on whether potential deals make sense, and have more of a big-picture perspective on the company's strategy, Mattson said.

In the case of the Seton project, Mattson said, the board members advised using more of a community-based approach to finding a reuse for the building.

Bennett and Harriman will be compensated for their work on the board, but Mattson declined to say how much. He said the company plans to add three more members to the advisory board.

Both Mattson and Severin Beliveau, general counsel and another business partner in the company, have served the Maine Democratic Party previously. Mattson was chief of staff for a Democratic Maine House majority leader in the 1990s; and Beliveau, a prominent State House lobbyist, is a former state legislator and Maine Democratic Party chairman.

The company controls just under $300 million in commercial real estate in Maine, according to Mattson, including the Central Maine Commerce Center in Augusta and the Offices at Saco Island.

Paul Koenig -- 621-5663, pkoenig@mainetoday.com