The household behind Portland’s Union Wharf is putting the historical pier on the marketplace after more than 160 years of stewardship, mentioning estate preparation and the need to offer future generations.
Integrated in 1793, Union Wharf is the oldest in Portland, and has actually invited clipper ships, coal steamers and engines through the centuries, according to NAI The Dunham Group, the Poole household’s property broker.
The choice to offer did not come quickly for Charlie Poole, who keeps a quill-and-ink copy of the 1793 charter of Owners of Union Wharf, where he functions as president and “wharfinger”– or wharf-keeper.
“Somebody wrote to me just recently, stating, ‘It needs to be bittersweet’ (to offer the wharf), and I’m not exactly sure ‘sweet’ is the best word,” Poole, 67, stated in an interview Sunday. However, he included, “We’re at a moment where we need to acknowledge that, in order to be fair to all, this is something we have to do.”
Shares of the Union Wharf company are being spread out ever more thinly throughout the growing Poole family, forcing its members to think of providing for the next generations. But they want to make sure that any purchaser is similar in terms of keeping the working wharf in location.
It’s the very first time Union Wharf has actually been offered in its history.
The wharf’s 4.3 acres on Commercial Street are primarily devoted to waterside services, consisting of anglers, seafood and bait dealers and an oil spill response business. Towards Commercial Street are Sapporo Dining establishment and a catering service called The Black Tie Co. The home also has industrial office, currently inhabited by financial companies, a realty broker and designers, among others.
The existing owners intend to keep these tenants in location.
“This is not a redevelopment chance,” Chris Craig of the Dunham Group stated in an email. “The wharf is and will continue to be an important part of the marine market in Portland and the current owners, city and neighborhood want to keep it that way. We have had a great deal of interest given that it is so renowned and it has actually been immaculately maintained for many years by the present owners.”
“We have actually been happy to be stewards of a piece of home that’s best smack dab in the middle of the working waterfront,” Poole said. “In my time and my daddy’s time and previously, it’s constantly belonged of the working waterfront.”
The property for sale does not include 250 Industrial St., which houses Liquid Riot Bottling Co., nor does it include 5 Widgery Wharf, whose tenants are F.L. Putnam Financial Investment Management Co. and NBT Bank. Both are nearby properties owned by the Pooles, however will not factor into the sale.
The Poole household became related to the wharf in 1858, according to a brochure from their broker. They intermarried with the family of W.H. Shurtleff of W.H. Shurtleff Salt Co., which ran from the pier, and for decades managed the business as part-owners.
In the 1950s, Charlie Poole stated, his family became sole owners. Charlie’s dad and uncle, Parker Poole Jr. and William Poole, ran the wharf for years prior to bringing in Charlie in 1983. Charlie’s sibling Malcolm also assists run the business today.
“It is often remarked that Union Wharf, under his management, was the best repaired and operated wharf, private or public, on the Portland Waterfront,” Parker Poole’s 2008 obituary stated.
Throughout the 2nd half of the 20th century the Pooles prided themselves on supporting waterfront operations, “attending to the business requirements of Portland anglers, seafood processors, and waterfront companies,” the obituary stated.
In 2017, a $1.8 million investment helped rebuild the southwest corner of the pier, according to the broker’s brochure, which likewise gives a 2019 net operating income of $1.15 million for the home.
The due date for quotes is March 31.