by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
ROCKLAND — The plan to build the tallest building in Rockland, proposed by Lyman-Morse, has been re-approved by the city, and construction is set to begin in spring.
The building, which will be 65 feet tall, and will be located at 250 Main St., has yet to actually be built due to a variety of factors. The plan was first approved in October 2010, but due to inaction, the plan needed to be re-approved by the city’s planning board.
“Planning board approval is good for two years, and they can continue to approve it for one year,” said John Root, the code enforcement officer for the City of Rockland.
The plan was re-approved with little fuss, and Lyman-Morse says they are going to continue to seek investors for the project and still plan on building the structure.
“It really hasn’t been a long time,” said Cabot Lyman, owner of Lyman-Morse. “We certainly plan to build the building, it’s just a matter of timing.”
According to Root, re-approving a project of this nature is almost a non-issue. Unless regulations for the city drastically change, or some new piece of information comes into the picture, re-approval is a simple process. Considering they had their plan approved the first time, if the laws are still the same, there is no reason not to approve them a second time.
“I don’t think you ever win by throwing up obstacles in development that’s already been approved,” said Root. “It would be foolish not to re-approve it.”
According to Lyman, they plan on resuming construction in the spring of 2013.
The delay in construction has stemmed from a number of factors. The building was originally going to be built as a side project for Lyman-Morse, which is a boatbuilding company that specializes in high-end custom boats that can cost a million dollars or more.
According to the original plan, the construction of the new building was undertaken to give Lyman-Morse workers something to do at a time when orders for new yachts had declined. However, before the construction began, yacht orders started coming in again, and the additional project was no longer as necessary. And since the workers were once again busy building yachts, there was nobody available to work on the building.
“We thought we’d put everything on hold,” said Lyman. “We didn’t need to keep the guys busy.”
In addition to that, the real-estate market’s lagging recovery meant there wasn’t a sense of urgency in getting the building constructed. With little incentive to build it, they decided to wait.
“We’re not too upset about having to wait a year,” said Lyman. “The timing is the key thing.”
According to Lyman, the building itself has already been fully planned out, and the construction is just a matter of getting things started. With the foundation already completed, the building shouldn’t take long.
“It’ll go fast now,” said Lyman. “It’s going to be a cool building. I’m very excited.”