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Updated: August 6, 2019

Deal for Portland wharf has potential for DiMillo’s brokerage expansion

portland wharf Courtesy / LoopNet Berlin Mills Wharf in Portland, which includes a wharf and a building fronting Commercial Street, sold for $4 million.

The deal for the Berlin Mills Wharf, at 400 Commercial St. in Portland, is considered an investment opportunity for a variety of potential uses, including a possible restaurant.

The buyer, 400 Commercial Street LLC, is owned by Christopher DiMillo, founder and president of DiMillo’s Yacht Sales, which has its headquarters not far away, at 1 Long Wharf.

400 Commercial Street LLC bought the property from the Berlin Mills LLC for $4 million. Chris Craig, Tom Moulton and Katie Millett from NAI The Dunham Group brokered the sale, which closed June 18.

Courtesy / LoopNet
Plans are in the works to update Berlin Mills Wharf’s primary building, fronting Commercial Street.

The property consists of a 21,188-square-foot office/mixed-use building built in 1986 and a 3,600-square-foot machine shop/office on 3 acres. 

Located on Portland’s waterfront, the wharf is in a prime redevelopment area. It sits directly across the street from Reger Holdings’ 300-unit residential condo development and less than a block from J.B. Brown’s new 63-unit residential development on York Street.

Born and raised in Portland, Christopher DiMillo worked as a dock hand at the family’s DiMillo’s Marina as a child, according to his website bio

The opportunity to manage the family marina came up in 1995. DiMillo’s family also founded DiMillo’s On The Water Restaurant. Christopher DiMillo operates the marina but is not involved in the restaurant.

Noticing a void of a higher-end brokerage in Portland, he established DiMillo’s Yacht Sales in 1997, quickly diversified into new boat sales, and today has a complete service department as well. The company now has six locations from Maine to Maryland and is the nation’s largest dealer for Sabre Yachts in Raymond and Back Cove Yachts in Rockland.

Courtesy / David Lloyd, Archetype Architects
Renderings by Portland’s Archetype Architects for the renovation of the Commercial Street building.

Last year, the company did more than $50 million in sales and service among its combined locations, said DiMillo.

DiMillo said his  immediate focus for the Berlin Mills Wharf property is on the building that fronts Commercial Street.

“It’s in a happening area, with large-scale developments going up within a couple of blocks,” he said.

The plan is to renovate the building, including a first-floor space that’s currently vacant.

“We’ll turn it into a space that will be a special place,” he said. He said the space would be suitable for a restaurant tenant. He added that it will not be a DiMillo’s restaurant.

Courtesy / DiMillo’s Yacht Sales
A view of DiMillo’s Marina and DiMillo’s Yacht Sales at 1 Long Wharf, Portland. The Portland service dock is filled with many Back Cove and Sabre Yachts during the busy spring and summer season.

DiMillo engaged Archetype Architects for the first-floor project, in which he expected to invest about $300,000. It’s expected the renovation will be accomplished within the next six months. 

The property includes parking that could be available for a restaurant. 

“That’s unheard of in downtown Portland,” he noted.

Plans also call for expanding dock space on the water side of the property, with the potential for turning the pier and dockage into a marina, he said.   

“It’s a unique investment opportunity with lots of options,” he said. “I have been approached by a few different water-dependent users, so I continue to look and consider the options. At the end of the day, it may end up serving to support the growing storage and service needs of our thriving yacht dealership.”

Courtesy / DiMillo’s Yacht Sales
Christopher DiMillo, founder and president of DiMillo’s Yacht Sales.


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