The president of Portland Yacht Services has shared with city officials his plans to transform a vacant 16-acre parcel on the west end of Commercial Street into a large-scale boatyard catering to pleasure and commercial boats.
As reported by the Portland Press Herald, Phineas Sprague Jr. has a purchase-and-sale agreement with Pan Am Railways for about 14 acres and has come to terms on a lease agreement with the Unitil natural gas company for an additional 2 acres that are now a storage area for propane tanks.
The parcel at 40 West Commercial St. in Portland – which Sprague plans to call Canal Landing -- is near the Casco Bay Bridge. It has deep-water frontage and is within the city's Waterfront Port Development Zone.
Sprague told the newspaper he would like to repair tugboats, barges and other commercial craft at the new boatyard, which he said would have the capacity to handle boats weighing as much as 1,500 tons, compared with the 44-ton limit at his Fore Street marina.
His 58 Fore St. property, known as the Portland Co. Marine Complex, has been for sale since 2007. The 10-acre complex, the largest parcel in Portland east of the Casco Bay Bridge, includes several deteriorating 19th-century industrial buildings, a marina, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and museum, and 1,000 feet of shoreland.