B&G Foods is selling its century-old manufacturing plant in Portland, Maine, to become a university-led research center and incubator for startup food companies.
The plant and 13.5-acre waterfront property is being sold for an undisclosed sum to the Institute for Digital Engineering and Life Sciences, a nonprofit that partners with Northeastern University to offer graduate programs in a variety of modern disciplines.
The Portland property will become the home for the Roux Institute, a Northeastern institution, built with Portland entrepreneur David Roux, that offers education and research into disciplines including AI, computer and data sciences, digital engineering, and advanced life sciences and medicine. It will include partner companies, housing and other amenities. The B&M manufacturing building will include an incubator lab and office space for startup companies. The campus will be built in phases over a decade or more, and will include coastal restoration to open waterfront areas to the public.
B&G will transfer the manufacturing capacity of the Portland plant to other facilities and to contract manufacturers. Its 86 employees will be offered severances and career transition support, and the Roux Institute will also offer support through connections with Maine employers and educational opportunities at Northeastern.
“We are confident The Roux Institute will build a new longstanding legacy on the property, one that will enrich Portland residents in new and exciting ways, and will endure as a force for good in the community for generations to come,” B&G CEO Casey Keller said in a statement.