THE WHARF near Cook’s Lobster and Ale House on Bailey Island in Harpswell, as seen on Wednesday, was auctioned off to Arthur Girard of AMG Holdings in Portland on Tuesday. The wharf is used by commercial fishermen and Portland ferry service Casco Bay Lines.

THE WHARF near Cook’s Lobster and Ale House on Bailey Island in Harpswell, as seen on Wednesday, was auctioned off to Arthur Girard of AMG Holdings in Portland on Tuesday. The wharf is used by commercial fishermen and Portland ferry service Casco Bay Lines.

HARPSWELL

The owners of Cook’s Lobster and Ale House on Bailey Island in Harpswell were outbid by a Portland developer on Tuesday for the rights to purchase the historic wharf that abuts their restaurant.

Arthur Girard of AMG Holdings bid $510,000 to gain control of the wharf over Nick and Jennifer Charboneau, who have owned Cook’s Lobster since 2015. The wharf has been used by local lobstermen for generations as a hub to dock and sell their catches, and is also used by Casco Bay Lines to load and unload passengers coming from Portland to Bailey Island.

Girard was one of a small group of registered bidders who submitted a $50,000 deposit before Tuesday’s auction, which was held on the wharf inside a building lined with lobster tanks and run by auctioneer Michael Carey of Portland’s Tranzon Auction Properties.

Girard told Bangor Daily News on Tuesday that he didn’t have any immediate plans for the wharf.

Jennifer Charboneau told The Times Record that she believes that Girard has good intentions.

“It sounds like he’s planning on keeping it a working wharf,” Charboneau said. “The biggest thing for my husband and I is that the wharf is in dire need of repair. The past owner was supposed to maintain and take care of it, and that never happened. Going into the auction, we wanted to protect our business, but we also believed that the people of Bailey Island deserve a better wharf. Our hope is Art will continue to support the Bailey Island community, help lobstermen do their job and update the wharf.”

Charboneau said that the wharf — which was valued at $469,400 in 2015 — needs around $500,000 in repairs.

“We did an inspection with a marine engineer in 2015 and there was a 30-page report of what needed to be done,” said Charboneau. “In a short amount of time it will be in much worse shape, if not in the ocean.”

Easements are in place to protect the wharf from demolition, but Charboneau said that even easements cannot protect the wharf if it is not repaired.

“It can’t get any worse than it is now, so we hope the new owner will do right by the community,” said Charboneau. “I think his heart is in the right place.”

Girard’s track record of ocean property transactions includes a winning bid in 2014 for ownership of Boon Island Lighthouse off the coast of Cape Neddick and donating Ram Island in Saco Bay to the University of New England in 2015.

“As long as he takes care of the people who work there — good hardworking people — I think there is a bright future for the wharf,” said Charboneau.

Charboneau said she recently spoke with Casco Bay Lines and said that although they “have some concerns about the conditions of the wharf,” they will continue to use the wharf for the foreseeable future.

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