By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,350)
“This application is the fulfillment of our original plan that was interrupted by Maine DOT,” said Phin Sprague, Jr., this afternoon at his 100 West Commercial boatyard. The application dated June 15 and addressed to the city, was signed by Stephen R. Bushey,P.E. of FST The yard is now 17 3/4 acres large, certainly one of the largest in the State.
Back in 2012, a parcel of the planned boat yard was taken by MaineDOT by imminent domain. It was to convert the waterfront space to a rail facility for the transportation to the north Atlantic by EIMSKIP, an Icelandic container shipping company. While Sprague endorsed the change in use, it did slow down his boatyard development dramatically.
The property that he purchased from Pan Am on May 1, 2015, for an undisclosed amount of money, will have marine related businesses on it that complies with the city’s zoning ordinance. That includes new offices for the staff currently housed in a trailor and a community of marine related busineses that Spraue is not willing to name at this time. Sprague does not know when this matter will go before the city’s planning board, for the fifth round of process, but he is not asking for any variances in his application. Incidentally,Sprague said that the annual boat show will go on at 58 Fore Street as in the past, but the likelihood of the annual flower show continuing is doubtful.
In another Commercial Street new venture, an application has been filed to develop a Science Center, 68 Commercial Street. “Tenants fit up on 2nd and 3rd floor of existing building for science museum use. Area is @ 14,000 sf. The occupant load is limited to 400 visits both by code and by museum practice. There are currently 16 meter parking spaces on wharf. This number cannot be increased thus almost all traffic to museum will be by pedestrians. There is no change to the marine uses on the wharf,” according to the application.filed on 6/25/15. The museum is to be located in the upper floors of the space dedicated to a new restaurant of Dana Street, called “Scales.”