WATERVILLE – Waterville was an area known for it’s mills. Now, the city will soon reignite in hopes of bringing people back.
Colby College’s Director of Commercial Real Estate, Paul Ureneck, spoke during a Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce breakfast Thursday about the past, present, and future of the area.
“There is so much change going on in downtown Waterville,” Ureneck said.
Ureneck said the idea for Colby College to invest in the area began about five years ago. Colby College hired a new president, David Greene, who believed there was a void in the downtown area.
“When we compete for these students the town that they live in, the town that they study in is important to them. It’s important to their parents,” Ureneck said.
Ureneck also touched upon the history of the area dating back to the height of the depression. He said residents came together to keep Colby College in Waterville instead of moving it to Augusta.
“Waterville came to our rescue. Now it’s time to give back to the city of Waterville,” Ureneck said.
Main Street in Waterville is one of the places that will see significant changes with these new plans.
“As someone who lives and works in this area it’s just really exciting to see a lot of investment and new developments,” said Program Coordinator Josh Devou.
Ureneck said the goal is to increase the number of people visiting, living and shopping in Waterville.
Colby College will invest $90 – $100 million in direct investments to achieve that goal, according to Ureneck.
“I think any growth is just going to bring more people to the area and let them see what we have to offer,” said Cindy Stevens of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.