PORTLAND – The city is finally subdividing 53 acres of industrial land it acquired four years ago as part of a complicated deal.

The subdivision on Riverside Street will allow the city to sell two lots: a 4-acre lot to Lucas Tree Experts for $954,000 and a 3.2-acre lot to Donald St. Jean for $450,000.

The City Council has already approved the purchase and sale agreements.

The proposed five-lot subdivision would give one of the property owners, New England Metal Recycling, more than 13 acres. The scrap dealer plans to move to the Riverside property this fall from its current location on Somerset Street.

The city intends to retain ownership of a 32-acre parcel, about 22 acres of which would be set aside for conservation. A trail would be established between Riverside Street and the Presumpscot River, located on the parcel’s western boundary.

The remaining 10 acres could serve as a new site for the city’s public services garages, now located in Bayside, said Greg Mitchell, the city’s economic development director.

The city has no immediate plans to move the garages, but the City Council has a long-range goal of moving them out of Bayside, which has been a focus of revitalization efforts since 2002.

St. Jean, an investor in commercial and industrial real estate, plans to upgrade two empty buildings on the site and lease them, at least for the short term. Mitchell said St. Jean plans to build an industrial structure on the site when the real estate market improves.

New England Metal Recycling is building a large facility on its portion of the site, Mitchell said.

All of the lots would retain frontage on Riverside Street, and there would be no streets within the parcel.

The smallest lot — about an acre — will likely be split in half and sold to abutters, Lucas Tree and New England Metal Recycling, Mitchell said.

The Planning Board discussed the subdivision plan at a workshop meeting Tuesday. On Sept. 14, it will hold a public hearing on the proposal and vote.

The city’s purchase of the Riverside parcel evolved from an effort to revitalize the Bayside neighborhood.

The Trust for Public Land purchased the property for the city in 2006 and held it until the city was ready to buy it, which occurred earlier this year.

The original plan called for two Bayside scrap yards and the city’s Public Services Department on Portland Street to be relocated to the Riverside parcel.

However, one of the scrap yards, E. Perry Iron & Metal Co. on Lancaster Street, has refused to move.

Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:

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