Berwick, ME Development 2019-10-31T23:39:17+00:00

[PRESS RELEASE] Great Falls Construction Moves Forward with Development in Downtown Berwick

Great Falls Construction Purchases Former Prime Tanning Property

  • On October 31, 2019, Great Falls Construction purchases vacant Prime Tanning Mill with eye to help revitalize downtown Berwick.
  • Prime Tanning Mill redevelopment is a key component to the Envisioning Downtown Berwick plan.
  • New owners plan community listening sessions for November 6th, 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Berwick’s Town Hall Auditorium, and December 5th, 10:00am to 11:30 am, (location to be decided) to hear community input.

[Berwick, Maine]- Downtown Berwick sees a critical investment as Great Falls Construction, based in Gorham, Maine, purchases the vacant Prime Tanning Mill. Great Falls, a family owned construction and development firm, has spent the past year in discussions with the Town about the site, and is excited to work with the community to realize the vision of a revitalized downtown Berwick. Great Falls has extensive experience with renovations and new construction sensitive to the context of village centers. Their Station Square project in Gorham Village is a 70,000 sq ft mixed-use development that includes 6 commercial units and 33 residential units. Their properties are managed by JCS Property Management, also based in Gorham.

Jon Smith, president of Great Falls, takes pride in keeping it local. “For years our team has been ‘Constructing with a Purpose’; by that I mean that our goal, since we started in 1988, is to understand the needs of the local community and work with them to formulate a plan to address those needs. It’s more than just building buildings”. Smith says the Prime Tanning site is a perfect opportunity to do what they do best: collaborate with the community to cultivate small business and residential opportunity, strengthening their sense of place.

Great Falls has two listening sessions scheduled in the Berwick area to hear what the local community wants. These will be held on November 6th, 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Berwick’s Town Hall Auditorium (11 Sullivan St, Berwick), and December 5th, 10:00 am to 11:30 am. The Dec 5th location will be posted on Great Falls and the Town of Berwick’s Facebook pages as the time nears. For more information contact Julie Smith at (207) 839-2744,

Envisioning Downtown Berwick, a report developed by the Town of Berwick in 2014, calls for a community-centered downtown, where residents can walk and bike to stores and businesses. “We see opportunities to support a more vibrant village center by providing services in a walkable setting”, says Great Falls Vice President Cindy Smith, “currently some of the important places such as the library and post office are quite a walk from the center of the Village. We would like to explore bringing those things into the Village.”

The mill housed various manufacturing operations from 1877 to 1930, when tannery operations began. Prime Tanning closed the mill in 2008, filing for bankruptcy. In 2016 the site was cleaned up with funding from the EPA’s Brownfields environmental clean up fund. Jon Smith says the site, about 10 acres in the center of the downtown, has the solid infrastructure necessary for redevelopment. He sees an opportunity for an outstanding mix of commercial and residential development, but first wants to hear about the aspirations of the Berwick community.

In addition to the planned listening sessions the company will maintain a suggestion box at 20 Sullivan Street welcoming notes, suggestions, and other input. “Now the fun part begins” added Smith, “Our team is excited to get to work and we look forward to engaging with the citizen’s of Berwick”. To stay engaged follow Great Falls Construction and Town of Berwick Facebook pages, use the on-site suggestion box, or contact Julie Smith at

With over 30 years of experience in constructing with a purpose, Great Falls Construction is one of Northern New England’s premier construction management, design build and general contracting firms. Respected throughout the industry for our meticulous craftsmanship and committed customer service, Great Falls has a diverse portfolio ranging from multi-million dollar commercial projects to detailed period-style homes, historical restorations, and multifamily affordable housing. Our team works closely together and with our partners to diligently manage projects in multiple industries including but not limited to municipal, commercial, residential, historical, medical, financial and retail. We apply our founding principle of meeting project needs through technology and practical construction knowledge.