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May 14, 2018

Front Street Shipyard begins long-awaited expansion

Courtesy / Front Street Shipyard Artist's rendering shows the 22,500-square foot Building 6, at lower left, as it will look when completed this fall at Front Street Shipyard's Belfast yard. The new facility will accommodate large yacht refits and commercial vessel construction projects while adding approximately 40 more full-time jobs at Front Street Shipyard.

Front Street Shipyard in Belfast announced Friday that it has finalized the financing it needed to begin construction of a new facility adjacent to its existing yard on the Belfast waterfront.

With the combined support of the City of Belfast, regional banks and state and federal organizations, Front Street Shipyard completed the purchase of a city-owned parking lot and secured a loan to construct a 22,500-square foot building on the property. The new facility will accommodate large yacht refits and commercial vessel construction projects while adding approximately 40 more full-time jobs at Front Street Shipyard.

Construction of the $4.6 million building project will begin immediately, the shipyard stated in its news release, noting that the City of Belfast is financing its purchase of the property and Androscoggin Bank is financing the construction. Upon completion of construction, Androscoggin Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration will share the long-term mortgage, which is backed by Finance Authority of Maine. Maine Technology Institute is providing a development loan that will fund Front Street Shipyard’s purchase of overhead cranes for Building 6.

“This expansion is only possible through the unwavering support of many institutions, organizations, regional officials and our local community,” said JB Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard. “Their confidence in our ability to continue growing business, adding jobs, and enriching tourism to the region is humbling. The entire team at Front Street Shipyard is committed to filling our new facility with multi-faceted projects and expert craftspeople to take on those projects.”

In an interview last October, when he was honored as a member of the Mainebiz 2017 Next List, Turner characterized Building 6 as the final piece of the puzzle for the configuration of Front Street Shipyard’s Belfast yard. “It enables us to compete better,” he said at that time, noting that its height and size will streamline work on large vessels. “There are a lot of boats we could bid on and put in there and keep us rolling with inside work.”

Building 6 will be tall enough to allow Front Street Shipyard’s 485-ton mobile hoist — the largest hoist in northern New England — to drive boats inside, maximizing space and reducing the need for additional support equipment.

Building 6 is expected to be completed by this fall.

Maine Coast Construction of Camden is building the new facility, which is a Varco Pruden metal building like other sheds in the shipyard. Gartley & Dorsky of Camden engineered the building and John Hansen of South Thomaston is Building 6’s architect.

The existing marina and workspaces at Front Street Shipyard will operate uninterrupted during the construction of the new facility.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, using a previously reported cost estimate, has been updated to provide the actual cost of the Building 6 project.

Read more

Front Street Shipyard to add up to 40 jobs as result of $667K federal grant

Front Street Shipyard's Building 6 now 'open for business'

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