Hamilton Marine Gets Closer to Anderson Street; Neighborhood Informational Meeting 6/23 at EECS

Wayne and Loraine Hamilton: Started Hamilton Marine in 1977 in Searsport.

By Carol McCracken (Post # 504)

Hamilton Marine just got closer to a new inland facility this afternoon at a planning board workshop. The applicant, a 15 year resident of the Portland waterfront on Fore Street, had requested a zoning change that would permit this marine discount store to move to an industrial use zone at 170 Anderson Street.

However, the applicant recently learned that East Bayside is currently undergoing a neighborhood development plan. With that in mind, it’s been recommended by Councilor Kevin Donoghue that any zoning changes be put off until this planning process is completed. Because of this, Hamilton Marine today changed its approach and requested two text amendments that will be forthcoming: they are regarding parking and adding “marine products wholesaling and retailing” as amendments.

Testifying in support of the application were Robert Hark, an attorney, and resident of Anderson Street. He thought the marine business would fit well with the area and added there were no parking problems during the day. Pat Ryan, executive director, Compass Project, who already occupies space at 170 Anderson Street testified in support of the application as well. “There is already a nice marine atmosphere there. This will add to that,” she said. Ryan also said that Hamilton Marine has been a strong supporter of Compass Project in the past.

Tomorrow evening Hamilton Marine and its attorney, Brenda M. Buchanan, of 57 Exchange Street, will meet with interested parties at the East End Community School on North Street to answer questions on the application. The meeting begins at 5:30 pm.

The success story of Wayne and Loraine Hamilton is a quintessential one: growing up in Searsport on Penobscot Bay, he turned that love of the sea and boats into a marine supply outfitter that has weathered competition and economic uncertainities to become the largest marine supply business north of Boston. Currently, there are 5 stores in Maine. Hamilton has not ruled out adding another store to the chain, as long as it is in Maine.

The planning board stated it’s support for this application.

For more background information, please read post # 498, dated June 18th.