A Portland company planning a massive redevelopment of Portland’s eastern waterfront has received initial approval to double the size of a marina at the mouth of the Fore River.

The Port of Portland Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to approve an expansion proposal from CPB2 LLC, the company planning to redevelop the 10-acre Portland Co. property on Fore Street and add high-end apartments, shops, restaurants and hotel rooms. Part of the company’s master plan is a “world-class” marina at 58 Fore St. to accommodate yachters’ growing interest in Portland.

Bill Van Voorhis, vice-chairman of the five-member board of harbor commissioners, said Friday that there were few concerns with the proposal presented by CPB2.

“They had done their homework, they were very well prepared,” he said.

There was only one comment during the public hearing preceding the vote, from a person who thought the marina project was not advertised well enough, Van Voorhis added.

The project still needs permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers and approval for its site plan from the Portland Planning Board. The company’s application is being reviewed at the state and federal level, and approval is expected by the end of the summer, said CPB2 Manager Casey Prentice.

“Our goal is to have those wrapped up by the end of July or August,” he said. A site plan application that is required under the project master plan has not yet been filed with Portland Planning and Urban Development Department, Prentice added. He doesn’t think the company will have any problem getting the project permitted.

“Everything has come back very positively,” Prentice said. “We feel very comfortable with it.”

The current marina is operated by Portland Yacht Services and has 69 boat slips. Rates start at $2,500 for a 25-foot slip. It is unclear what the rates will be once the expansion is complete.

The project is expected to cost $12 million, according to the company’s application.

CPB2 wants to construct a new dock system with 141 slips, including room for “mega-yachts” at least 125 feet long. The new marina is “designed to attract larger yachts that currently are unable to easily dock in Portland,” the company said in its application. The marina will not include a boat ramp or haul-out, but users will have access to power, potable water, fuel and pump-out services. The entire marina will be buffered from boat wakes and rough weather by a cordon of floating wave attenuators.

Before submitting its applications the company conducted a thorough environmental survey of the area, said Lauren Swett, a technical manager from Woodard and Curran engineering company that filed the application. The process included video-mapping the river bottom in the proposed area to identify valuable wildlife habitat. The survey mostly found rubble and debris, Swett said.

“That area did not have a ton of significant habitat area.”

If the remaining permit process goes smoothly, CPB2 expects to start building the marina this winter and complete construction by summer 2018, according to Prentice.

Peter McGuire can be reached at 791-6325 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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