A Kansas City developer will partner with a local Eastport group to redevelop the waterfront American Can Co. factory (known earlier as the Seacoast Canning Co. building) in Eastport, Maine.
Arnold Development Group of Kansas City and Dirigamus LLC plan to turn the building into a mixed-use site, with retail and office space, upstairs residential units, and an eight-room hotel. It will be known as 15 Sea Street.
It’s estimated the redevelopment will cost $18 million.
Many residents of Eastport and surrounding communities earned their living in this building, and stories of the hard work and good times among the workers still abound today. After years of being home to sardine can making, the building served the aquaculture industry.
This historic building was purchased in 2003 and is about to enter the the next phase of its life. Dirigamus LLC partners Meg McGarvey, Linda Godfrey, and Nancy Asante, working with others, intend to create spaces and places which will honor the local fishing history, showcase local creativity, and share nature’s abundance in and around Passamaquoddy Bay.
A souvenir booklet dated 1908 provides a glimpse into the historic role the Seacoast Canning Co. played in Eastport and neighboring communities:
“All of our Maine cities have attributes that in some especial measure claim and deserve consideration. Eastport eclipses all in its sardine industry and lays special claim to the fact that she has the largest sardine and canning industry in the world, that of the Seacoast Canning Co. This important industry was established in 1899 and it was incorporated as the Seacoast Canning Co. in 1903. The building at 15 Sea Street was constructed in 1908 and is known as the American Can Building. The building was home to the Continental Brand of roll key opening can.
The products produced by the Seacoast Canning Co. are favorably known throughout the civilized world and they have an established reputation for superiority. The specialty of the company is the Continental Brand of sardines which is know for its general excellence throughout the entire world and is a standard for all other manufacturers.”
Image credit: Peter MacKenzie of Comeau MacKenzie Architecture in Saint John, New Brunswick.