Portland’s public works operations are a step closer to leaving West Bayside after the City Council voted Monday night to purchase a tract of land on Canco Road, freeing up a large parcel of land near downtown for development.

The council also approved taking on $3.4 million in new debt to facilitate the purchase, but city residents will be asked later to approve an $8 million bond to complete a future phase of the consolidation, which is expected to take years to implement. The council allocated $930,000 in proceeds from previous land sales toward the purchase.

Moving public works out of Bayside has been a longstanding goal, but large tracts of undeveloped industrial land are scarce in the city. Portland Mayor Michael Brennan said the move will free up land for much-needed development in an area long poised for a rebirth.

“This will change the face of Portland as we know it and only in a good way,” Brennan said. “This is a significant step forward for the city.”

The council voted unanimously to purchase the former PepsiCo. bottling plant at 250 Canco Road for $4.3 million. The acquisition of the 5-acre parcel will allow the city to create a 13-acre public works headquarters in an industrial zone in the center of the city.

The city began the relocation project last year with a property lease on Canco Road for a partial relocation, expected to cost about $3.1 million.

Two more phases were then planned: the $4.3 million proposal approved Monday to buy and upgrade the property at 250 Canco Road and move more operations out of Bayside, and an $8 million, longer-term plan to build an addition on that property for the city’s fleet services.

That second phase would require a citywide referendum. The fleet services division is now at 44 Hanover St. Until the funding is available, fleet services would remain there.

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

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.