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Business and Economy

Concept Renderings Show Controversial Cold Storage Warehouse on Portland’s Waterfront

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Canal 5 Studio of Portland
The proposed cold storage facility, seen in this architectural rendering, would be located on Commercial Street near the Casco Bay Bridge in Portland.

The Port Authority of Maine has given the City of Portland an architect’s conceptual renderings of a 120,000-square-foot cold storage shipping warehouse proposed for the city’s waterfront.

The facility would be built by Americold, the world’s largest cold storage company, on land owned by the Port Authority of Maine. It would expand local capacity for preserving refrigerated and frozen products such as fish, lobster, blueberries and potatoes that Eimskip and other freight companies ship between the U.S., Canada and Iceland.

Costing as much as $30 million, the 68-foot-tall facility as designed would require a variance in a zone that limits building heights in the waterfront district to 45 feet. The city’s Economic Development Department is asking that a mile-long stretch of the city’s western waterfront be rezoned to allow 70-foot buildings.

But some residents of Portland’s West End say the potential effects on the peninsula’s western gateway — traffic, pollution and views — could be radical. Some say the zone change should be rejected, or pared back.

The city’s Planning Board will hold a workshop on the issue Tuesday.

Correction: The proposed cold storage facility is 120,000 square feet, not 150,000 square feet.

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Credit Canal 5 Studio of Portland
The proposed cold storage facility, seen from South Portland in this rendering, would be located on Commercial Street near the Casco Bay Bridge in Portland.