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Public hearing Aug. 4

Shipyard seeks extension to construct new building

By Ben Holbrook | Jul 31, 2015
Source: File Image

Belfast — Belfast Planning Board members are recommending city councilors approve an extension for Front Street Shipyard to construct Building 6.

City Planner Wayne Marshall presented on behalf of Front Street Shipyard to members of Belfast Planning Board July 29 outlining proposed changes that mainly related to construction of Building 6. Marshall said Front Street Shipyard has been unable to move forward with its plans to construct Building 6 and “needs a little more time.”

The extension would require the shipyard construct Building 6 by Dec. 31, 2017.

“If all the financing worked they could be ready to move quite quickly,” Marshall said.

As proposed, Building 6 will be constructed on the city-owned Front Street parking lot. Front Street Shipyard has an option-to-lease agreement with the city, which was approved in May 2013, to lease the parking lot and ultimately purchase the property for $600,000.

Marshall said Front Street Shipyard will be required to execute the lease by Oct. 1, 2016, as part of the amended contract rezoning agreement between the shipyard and city.

He said the amendments also address changes to boundary lines, specifically the city's right-of-way along Front Street. Marshall said the right-of-way extends closer to the corner of where Building 6 will be located. That change required the shipyard to set back Building 6 to account for the boundary line change, Marshall said.

He noted the shipyard has until 2025 to decide whether to construct a 4,800-square-foot addition to Building 6.

Front Street Shipyard is also responsible for any hazardous materials located underneath the Front Street parking lot. An environmental site assessment of the parking lot by the city determined there were contaminated soils on the property, Marshall said.

The parking lot was built by the city as part of an agreement with the former Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad in exchange for the Thompson's Wharf property, according to previously published reports. The parking lot, which has 96 available spaces, was never intended to service the downtown area.

No one spoke in favor or against the project during a public hearing. Marshall said city staff did not receive any comments related to the proposed changes.

According to previously published reports, Building 6 will be 69 feet high and similar in appearance to Building 5. The increased height of the building will, among other benefits, accommodate a larger travel lift.

Planning Board members voted unanimously to recommend to city councilors the amendments be approved. Councilors are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed changes to the option-to-lease agreement between the shipyard and city Aug. 4.

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