Front Street starts process to expand in Belfast

7:27 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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BELFAST, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Directors at 'Front Street Shipyard' are looking to their next big expansion. Since opening last year the yard has hired dozens of people and taken in dozens of boats. Yet this time there's a lot of business to take care of first before Front Street can grow further.

Directors at the yard want to put a second travel lift on the Belfast Waterfront. The lift would be twice the size of their current one and allow 'Front Street' to haul bigger boats into the yard.

Yet its directors say they would need to build another building to house those boats and that is why they want to lease or buy a public parking lot next to the yard from the city.

Officials in Belfast say that would require amending their current land use agreement with 'Front Street.' It also will mean the loss of parking spots along the waterfront, which is a concern for some visitors to the city.

"As long as they keep a portion of some place available for the public to come park," said Mary Parshley of Bath, "so they can mill around in the old shops that are still here."

"There's always a concern that an entity will get so big it dominates a city or a town," remarked J.B. Turner, who is the president of 'Front Street Shipyard,' "and we're trying hard to work in harmony with our buildings with our process to make it work with the city."

Directors at 'Front Street' say if they are able to expand, it would create up to 50 new jobs at the yard. The Belfast Harbor Committee will be meeting with the company next month to talk about the expansion. The public is encouraged to attend that meeting.


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