PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It has been four years in the making, but Thompson's Point - a $100 million redevelopment of a once blighted 30 acre parcel of land - is on its way to being transformed into a welcoming gateway in to the city of Portland.
While much of the work over the past few years has been focused on permitting and planning, the site is hosting its first major event, welcoming in thousands of people from across the country for the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America.
Developers say they have had construction crews working at a frenzied pace the past few weeks to get the outdoor pavilion ready to host the roughly 4,000 beer enthusiasts and brewers from across the country.
"We have been going at warp-speed these last few weeks to get the site ready for today," stated Chris Thompson, one of the partners involved in the development of the Forefront at Thompson's Point. "To see that all coming together, and to see people load in and set-up, and now people can see the vision that we've wanted to be able to share for some years now. It is really exciting."
The work being done to transform the former industrial site includes renovations of the remaining brick buildings, construction on the first new office building, many of the infrastructure improvements that need to be done to improve access to the site, and once permitting is gained, construction of the new arena that will become the home of the Maine Red Claws and Circus Conservatory of America will finally get underway.
The beer camp is one of seven planed stops across the U.S. as Sierra Nevada celebrates its expansion and officially opens its first East Coast brewery. More than 100 brewers from throughout the Northeast descended on the city to pour their beers and share their stories with beer lovers.
Proceeds from the one day event will go to the Maine Brewer's Guild which helps promote craft brewing in Maine.