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June 12, 2018

Waterfront redevelopment project planned in Belfast

Belfast developer Paul Naron purchased waterfront real estate from boatbuilder French & Webb for redevelopment.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Naron doesn't know yet how he'll redevelop the property, which includes a recently vacated French & Webb workshop at 7 Front St. But it will be a community-minded use, he told the BDN. French & Webb will continue to operate in Belfast, the newspaper reported.

In 2017, Naron bought the former Consumers Fuel Co. garage on the waterfront. It's now under renovation, possibly for a pub or restaurant.

In May 2017, Naron opened the new United Farmers Market of Maine in Belfast, in the former Mathews Brothers window showroom that he purchased in 2016.

The Portland Press Herald reported in 2017 that Naron is a Baltimore native who owned a hardware chain in southeast Florida. After selling the chain, he moved to Belfast, which he knew from sailing, about nine years ago.

Although French & Webb sold its workshop, business is continuing as usual in other buildings it leases at 21 and 25 Front St., the PenBay Pilot reported. The company, specializing in custom sail and power yachts, has been in Belfast since 1996. Its biggest expansion was the 2005 acquisition of an MBNA storage building adjacent to the Belfast Boathouse. But the company decided to sell the building because much of its work is now being done or being shipped abroad.

According to the French & Webb website, one of its recent specialty projects was a teak hot tub made for a yacht currently in Germany.

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