The developer of Wex Inc.’s planned headquarters building in downtown Portland will break ground on the four-story office project Tuesday.

Portland officials said they will host a ceremony at 10 a.m. at the corner of Hancock and Thames streets with the project’s developer, 0 Hancock Street LLC, and executives from Wex, including its president and CEO, Melissa Smith.

The future Wex headquarters building will stand across the street from the Ocean Gate cruise ship terminal, whose roof is in the foreground of this concept rendering. Rendering courtesy of Wex Inc.

On Aug. 21, the Portland City Council approved a $3.3 million purchase and sale agreement with 0 Hancock Street for the sale of 48,000 square feet of the city-owned Thames Street property along the eastern waterfront. The city issued a request for proposals for the property in April and received two proposals in response on May 3. One was for the Wex project, which the city ultimately favored.

On Oct. 4, the Planning Board approved the project’s site plan, which calls for a 100,000-square-foot, four-story mixed-use building that will serve as office space for Wex with additional retail space underneath.

The Wex headquarters will be a four-story, 100,000-square-foot building with 10,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor. Artist rendering courtesy of Wex Inc.

All of the upper floors would be designated as office space for Wex. The Thames Street property is zoned for a maximum building height of 45 feet, with some allowances of up to 55 feet.

Between 450 and 550 new surface and structured parking spaces would be within 750 feet of the Thames Street site to accommodate the company’s needs and increased demand for public parking in Portland’s East End, the city has said.

Wex, a fast-growing company that provides payment-processing services for vehicle fleets, online travel services and health care and employee benefits providers, ultimately plans to relocate about 40 percent of its South Portland workforce to the new headquarters. The company has about 800 employees and 200 contract workers at its existing headquarters in South Portland.

Wex has said it plans to occupy the new headquarters building in 2019.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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