On Monday, the Brunswick Town Council approved the Cook’s Corner Commercial Corridor Revitalization Plan and created a subcommittee structure.
“It is an economic development plan that takes green space’s role in economic development seriously,” said Councilor Dan Ankeles. “It takes huge amounts of residential development in Cook’s Corner and East Brunswick, more generally.
“It might be our gateway to having much better design standards than the town has ever had before,” he added. “If we as a council can follow through on those things, that would be incredible.”
Dominated by strip malls, the Cook’s Corner area primarily functions as a commercial and retail area in Brunswick, but also includes recreational facilities and housing.
In October 2021, Brunswick Economic Development Director Sally Costello said significant issues facing Cook’s Corner include overlooked infrastructure needs, underutilized investment opportunities and a lack of pedestrian access.
Sears, Olympia Sports, and Radio Shack are a few examples of businesses that have left the area in the past decade, according to a 2020 report by The Times Record.
“This plan makes a real effort to connect and integrate the Brunswick Landing properties and make it a part of the town,” Councilor Sande Updegraph of District 4 said. “That has been a goal for many years, but it has always been conceptual. Now we are looking at plans that could actually make that happen.”
The goal areas outlined in the plan are transportation and connectivity, policy and planning and economic prosperity and business development in Brunswick.
District 6 Councilor Kate Foye said improving Cook’s Corner will make the area a desirable place to visit and do business.
“This is amazing,” Foye said. “These improvements that we are looking at making make this a desirable place to have your business and a hot spot to go. I am very excited about what is to come. It is the green spaces, this extension of Brunswick and creating a place where it is not the old navy base. Still, it is the landing, communities, and walking that are going to see a real interest from businesses which is helpful in a lot of ways for the economic prosperity of Brunswick.”
The strategic planning process was guided by a Town Council-established Advisory Committee composed of public and private stakeholders. The consultant team of Camoin Associates and Gorrill Palmer, with the assistance of town staff, conducted the community engagement process and development of resources the public and private sector constituencies can use to make informed decisions on future investments.