SteelPro Stephen Betts

ROCKLAND — Three historic properties in Rockland that stretch from Route 1 to the harbor were packaged together and marketed for sale, a move that could reshape the North End waterfront.

The parcels include where North End Shipyard, Steel Pro and Schooner Wharf are located. Combined, the properties have nearly nine acres, 2,100 feet of shore frontage, and 690 feet of frontage on Route 1.

“There’s nothing like this currently for sale on the coast of Maine,” Robert Baldacci of F. O. Bailey Real Estate in Falmouth said July 10.

The potential development possibilities on the properties include a hotel, marina, offices, restaurants and residences, according to the real estate company.

No sale price is being disclosed publicly.

He said when the Schooner Wharf and Steel Pro owners approached the real estate company earlier this year about putting the properties up for sale, they decided to see if North End Shipyard would agree to join the group and market all properties together.

Baldacci said there has already been interest shown by potential developers. He said a developer will need vision and patience to develop the properties to their fullest potential. He said a developer would work with community and the city government.

The ownership group hired Terrence J. DeWan & Associates, a land use consultant in Yarmouth, to look at potential development opportunities, Baldacci said.

North End Shipyard has owned the waterfront property since 1976, when Doug and Linda Lee and John Foss purchased the property from Rockland-Rockport Lime Company. The schooner captains since operated out of the shipyard, as well as provide services for other passenger schooners. The three still own the shipyard.

When asked what would happen to the shipyard if the properties sell, Baldacci said that would be up to the new owners, but also said a shipyard would complement other development possibilities at the site.

SteelPro was incorporated in 1978 by Chris Beebe and Fred Carey, and started as a metal fabricator for the adjacent SeaPro, which processed waste fish into fish meal for companies such as pet food producers. Seapro closed in 1988.

SteelPro is now a metal fabricator, building stainless steel tanks used in a variety of industries such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical. The company was sold in 2013 to its 35 employees. Most employees are welders with some engineers.

Baldacci said SteelPro is amenable to relocating and has looked at other sites.

Part of the Route 1 property included in the package. Stephen Betts

Schooner Wharf consists of several acres on the waterfront. The group consists of Peter Giustra of Warren, Anthony Arey of Warren, Bruce Leiter of Rockland, Peter Moore of Scarborough and Harold Ano of Okatie, S.C.

Schooner Wharf purchased the property in 1991 from Cabot and Heidi Lyman. The property has been used in the past 30 years for a variety of working waterfront uses such as for a fuel delivery vessel that serves the islands off Rockland, lobster businesses, and delivery of trees cut from the islands.

Schooner Wharf also owns the lot at 725 Main St., where U.S. Cellular is located.

The land was also once part of the holdings of the Rockland-Rockport Lime Company. That section of the North End was the heart of the lime industry that prospered in the 1800s and early 1900s. The last of the Rockland-Rockport lime kilns shut down in 1958. Remnants of the lime kilns remain.

Rockland Mayor Ed Glaser said Rockland has to maintain a balance between working waterfront, and new investments and development.

“If someone wants to invest the millions of dollars it will take to develop those pieces of property, that’s wonderful, but there are other pieces of our waterfront that might be better suited to new uses. I worry that new users may eventually displace some of the older working waterfront uses, and that’s at the heart of what Rockland’s waterfront has been,” the mayor said.

“I’d love to see hotels, and marinas and condos on the waterfront, but for every new dollar spent, it will put pressure on our fishing industry that’s already battling to stay viable. Add to that the uncertainties of potential coastal flooding from climate change, and I’m not sure that even bundled together those properties are all that attractive to a wise investor,” Glaser said.

He said the city has interest in preserving and expanding public access along the waterfront, and any sale of property, or change in use can be an opportunity to improve it.