A proposed city park next to Ocean Gateway that includes event space, sailing facilities and elevated berms to protect against sea surge would cost about $16 million, city officials said Thursday.

“This is a very different space than we originally thought,” said Bill Needelman, the city’s waterfront coordinator. The design, he said, was driven by the need for “resiliency” in the face of flooding or rising waters.

“This is a demonstration of how development makes us safer and how our investments can be expected to protect us,” he told about 50 people gathered at a public forum to see the concept designs at Ocean Gateway on Thursday.

The space is known as the Amethyst lot, a neglected, 1.5-acre parcel between the Ocean Gateway terminal and the former Portland Co. complex at 58 Fore St.

The redesign is part of a larger renovation of Portland’s Eastern Waterfront.

The central waterfront edge of the proposed “Portland Landing” is dominated by an event space and promenade along the water, and large oversize steps leading down to the water. The pilings near the edge are removed, while the pilings in the middle of the cove remain. A community building that will house SailMaine and a sailing dock are in the center of the space.


An aerial view of the proposed “Portland Landing” park, which would be located on the waterfront behind the Ocean Gateway cruise ship terminal.

On the northern edge, the grounds would be more wild and “naturalized,” the promenade runs partly over the water and includes a new dock for day sailors to tie up.

Moon Tide Park, a tidal area that contains contaminated dredging materials from the 1980s, will be expanded about 15 feet on every side and enclosed. A new triangular pier that extends over the water is located off the park, and a fishing platform is added along one corner.

A triangular space next to Moon Tide Park and running along the existing parking lot will have charter boat access.

A rendering of the proposed “Portland Landing” park, looking toward Munjoy Hill from the current site of the Moon Tide Park.

Some people at the meeting raised questions about the cost, how it would be paid for, why the central pilings weren’t being removed and why there was no vehicle access to the docks for day sailors.

Tony Donovan of the Maine Rail Transit Coalition, an advocate of rebuilding Maine’s passenger rail network said the entire plan was “flawed” because it did not make use of the nearby train tracks.

The design team, from Stantec Consulting Services of Scarborough, emphasized that the plans were still in the design phase. Needelman said the pilings were a great “memory” of the Grand Trunk pier, but the city will “have to figure out what to do with them in the future.”


Needelman said the proposal will now go to city committees for review.

Noel K. Gallagher can be reached at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: noelinmaine

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