Round 2: Another (HUGE) Cold Storage Warehouse Coming to the Western Waterfront?


James J. Rather, AICP, Development Review Services Manager, Planning & Urban Development Office for Portland.  Rather Replaces his Predecessor Barbara Barhardt,Who Retired Last Year.

“Boo” Looking out the  Window for the Snow to Stop and the Sun to Shine!

Bill Needelman, Waterfront Coordinator, in the City’s Office of Economic Development Directed by Greg Mitchell.  He was the Point Man in the Americold Controversy Several Years Ago.

Ever since Americold abandoned its proposal to build the extremely controversial cold storage warehouse on the western waterfront, Portlanders have been on guard should another proposal emerge from the fiasco called Americold.  It appears there is a proposal somewhere in the pipeline by the Maine Port Authority, but it’s hard to find its precise location.

In November of 2018, the Port Authority was planning a pre-application meeting with the city planning staff late this month.  As of yesterday, no one from the Port Authority had contacted James Rather, city’s new Development Review Services Manager, for such a meeting.

The current proposal as described to west enders last year is significantly larger than the proposal of Americold – the proposal the company abandoned in 2018.  The Port Authority proposal calls for a 74 foot high, 3 acre warehouse on West Commercial Street.  What?  This must be a joke!  Or a misprint?  Or just plan hell for west enders?

Meanwhile, two west enders Mark McCain and Cornelia Walworth, initiated a letter writing campaign,  signed by Portland supporters, to Governor Janet T. Mills and 15 other state leaders to make their case:  The letter asks the 16 receipients to “develop a cold storage facility in Greater Portland that supports economic growth for Maine as well as environmental and fiscal health.”  The letter makes numerous recommendations to help make this happen.  .

Three telephone calls to John Nass, CEO of Marine Trade Center, Commercial Street, have not been returned so far. is trying to get a comprehensive story, but that is hard to do when CEO Nass does not return phone calls or respond to requests for an email response to questions:  Where in the pipeline is this proposal?  Why is this proposal so much larger than the abandoned Americold proposal?

For more background information, please read prior post herein dated December 31,2018.