The roughly one acre of land that the Maine Seacoast Mission is splitting off from the rest of its headquarters property on West Street in Bar Harbor includes a flagpole and plaque dedicated to “seafarers…whose lives have been lost.” ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Mission divides property for sale, price lowered for Colket Center

BAR HARBOR — The asking price for the Maine Seacoast Mission’s headquarters on West Street has dropped from $6.3 million to $4.5 million since it went on the market last summer, but the lower price does not include a third of the 2.9-acre waterfront property, which it to be split off and sold separately.

“We wanted to increase the buyer pool by bringing down the price, and we were able to do that by offering a bit less land with the building,” said Seacoast Mission President Scott Planting.

He said that whoever buys the roughly two-acre lot and building will be offered the opportunity to buy the split-off lot as well. If they decline, then that lot would be put on the market.

Planting said the mission has not yet set an asking price for the smaller lot.

As a non-profit organization, the mission does not pay taxes on the West Street property. If it is purchased by a private individual, it would go on the tax rolls. The property is currently assessed by the town of Bar Harbor at $5.37 million, which includes $2.93 million for the land and $2.44 million for the mission’s headquarters building.

The approximately one acre of property to be split off is to the east of the building. Located on that parcel are a flagpole and a large rock at its base with a plaque that reads: “This park is dedicated to our seafarers, in loving memory of those whose lives have been lost.”

That is followed by a stanza from the Navy Hymn. The date on the plaque is June 13, 1999.

Planting said the flagpole and plaque likely would be moved to the property overlooking the Northeast Harbor Marina where the mission plans to lease office space in a building that is currently being designed.

“It’s a monument to people lost at sea. That’s an important part of our history,” he said.

The property on West Street, an estate called La Rochelle, was donated to the mission in 1972 by Tristam and Ruth Colket, who have continued to support its upkeep. Built in 1867, the Georgian Revival-style mansion now known as the Colket Center has 41 rooms with nearly 14,000 square feet of space. In addition to having its offices there, the mission uses it – and allows other organizations to use it – for meetings, receptions and other special events.

Last July, the mission announced that its board had decided to put it on the market “to transform property into financial resources for programs and services for the future.”

The mission, founded in 1905, provides “healthcare for fishermen … food for families and life-changing opportunities for kids” in island and coastal communities in Downeast Maine. Its vessel, Sunbeam, is used to take “spiritual, health and youth development programs” to several outer islands.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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