Hamilton Marine has applied to the city for a zoning amendment that would permit the Fore Street discount marine supply store to move its retail business to 170 Anderson Street. The planning board has scheduled a workshop for Tuesday, June 22nd at 3:30 pm at the city hall. Public comment will be taken at that time.
170 Anderson Street is primarily used as an electrical supply warehouse and is zoned for industrial use. A small portion of the building is rented to the non-profit Compass Project. (In a telephone conversation this afternoon, Mr. Hamilton, founder of the chain of marine supply stores, said Compass Project will remain at the same address.) According to the application filed with the city on June 1st, Hamilton Marine’s “bulk sales to fishermen technically are retail sales, thus requiring a zone change.” The zoning change requested would permit retail business at 170 Anderson Street.
Hamilton Marine has been at 100 Fore Street since 1995. There is no room for expansion at its current site and according to Mr. Hamilton, he’d like to purchase the 170 Anderson Street which is for sale. At its current location, the store has 18,500 sq. ft. At the new location, there would be significantly more retail space.
The business was founded in 1977 when Mr. Hamilton and his wife, Loraine, began selling supplies to fisherman out of their garage in Searsport. There are currently five stores on the Maine coast. In fact, Hamilton Marine, Inc. is the largest marine supply business north of Boston. He said he might start up another store, but not out of state. Mr. Hamilton has been the Harbor Master for Searsport for the past twenty years. He uses his own boat to perform his duties.
The move is planned for next summer.