The Morris Yachts property in Bass Harbor is located to the right of the Maine State Ferry Service terminal. FILE PHOTO

Boat yard property to stay commercial

TREMONT — Although the buyer of the Morris Yacht property in Bass Harbor has no concrete plans for the former boatyard, commercial use of the site will continue, his attorney said Tuesday.

“I can’t foresee him including any residential uses,” said Nick Morrill of the Portland law firm Jensen, Baird, and Gardner & Henry.

The 5.2-acre parcel was sold last week to Bass Harbor Marine LLC, a name apparently adopted from the company that sold the property to Morris Holdings in 1999. Morrill said he couldn’t identify the purchaser without his client’s permission.

What Morrill did say is that the buyer is from southern Maine and has “interests” in commercial fishing and other maritime activities. In buying the Morris property, the new owner made the decision that he successfully could generate revenue based on his interests in the southern part of the state.

“He was willing to make a leap of faith based on what he does down here,” Morrill said.

In the town’s property tax records, the Bass Harbor property is divided into three parcels. The town values the three properties at $2.11 million, according to Assessor Debbi Nickerson.

Structures on the property include boat storage and maintenance buildings, a former residence that Morris Yachts used as an office, a pier and floats, and a building that once housed the Deck House restaurant.

The Deck House, which later moved to Southwest Harbor, featured musical theater performances by the staff. The new owner has mentioned the possibility of using the restaurant building for a similar venture, Morrill said.

The sale price was not disclosed.

In February, developer Paul Hollis approached the town’s planning board to get their thoughts on his plan to build six homes on the property and provide docking space for the homeowners. Because some of the property is partially in the commercial fisheries/maritime activity zone and in the residential/business zone, board members questioned whether the cluster development proposed by Hollis was allowable.

“In my opinion, to set aside commercial land for residential use would violate the intent of the ordinance,” chairman Mike Ryan said at the time.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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