The Portland City Council on Monday approved leasing a warehouse and property on Canco Road so it can relocate several city offices from Bayside, including a portion of the Public Services Department.

The city will lease a warehouse at 212 Canco Road, with an option to buy the property in the future. The lease-purchase contract for the nearly 70,000-square-foot building would total $3.15 million when the council is able to exercise its purchase option in 2017.

“It presents an unusually central location from a service delivery standpoint,” said Greg Mitchell, the city’s economic development director.

The city will eventually move its traffic, maintenance, emergency operations and some recreation staff to the building and vacate one of several public works buildings in Bayside.

However, two businesses currently have five-year leases at the Canco Road property, which would delay the purchase and timing of moving all of the offices there.

The plan is for roughly 30 employees to move into the new Canco Road facility before the end of this fiscal year. Nine of them make up the city’s traffic division, which oversees the city’s streets and traffic management systems, and the other 21 are maintenance workers.


Portland’s salt sheds and other public services garages would remain in the Bayside neighborhood for now, but would eventually be moved to other sites under the city’s long-term plan.

“This will allow us to continue that positive momentum to reinvigorate the Portland Street area,” said City Councilor Kevin Donoghue.

The move to Canco Road would free up a 7,130-square-foot brick building and a half acre of land at 65 Hanover St., which has a tax-assessment value of $403,000. A smaller, 3,324-square-foot building at 90 Anderson St. would be vacated in a few years.

Creative Portland, a quasi-municipal nonprofit created to promote Portland’s creative economy, is trying to build support for an arts center in Bayside.

The Creative Space initiative is being led by Tom Blackburn, the owner of Maine Construction Services and a member of the Creative Portland board of directors.

In February, Blackburn told the Press Herald the group would like to partner with the city and educational institutions to establish a Portland Arts and Creative Enterprise, or PACE, Center for Innovation and Design in the public services building. “We’d like the city to invest the land and the buildings,” he said.


Blackburn said he’d like to use 65 Hanover St. as a high-tech center for gamers, computer programmers and sound recording. The center would provide recent graduates with access to state-of-the-art equipment, he said.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @randybillings

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