Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin wants to build a housing complex and public park at the site of a former cannery in Bath. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin wants to transform the site of a former Bath cannery into a housing complex and public park.

Though he hasn’t submitted a formal application, the former congressman made his intentions for the 5.6-acre lot along the Kennebec River — which used to be occupied by Stinson Seafood  — known to the Planning Board earlier this week, The Times Record reported.

​​Poliquin currently serves as the principal of Dirigo Holdings, a real estate development company that owns the area along the river.

Kevin Clark, president of civil engineering company Sitelines, presented two ideas for the housing portion of the project to the Planning Board: building two three-story buildings with parking on the ground level, or creating 20 individual single-family lots for housing units, according to The Times Record.

Though 40 units could potentially be built on the site, another option calls for including two or three bedrooms in each unit, halving the number of potential housing units. These would be sold at market value, likely costing between $450,000 and $550,000, rather than renting them, The Times Record reported.

Poliquin said the units could be for seniors looking to downsize their homes, or for young families and workers in the area.

The proposed development would open up the waterfront to the public, with a riverfront walkway giving pedestrians access from Bowery Street. A floating public dock, pier, green space and playground also are included, according to the newspaper.

If the project is approved, it is projected to cost about $16 million, with construction beginning in January 2023 and concluding the following year.

Stinson Seafood was the last sardine cannery in the United States, and it operated for more than 100 years before being shuttered in 2010. A spokesperson at the time cited reduction of the federal limit on herring as the reason for closing the cannery, which left 128 people without jobs.

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Matt Berg

Matt is a senior at UMass Amherst, studying journalism and history. Before joining the Bangor Daily News, he was the managing editor of his student newspaper and interned at the Boston Globe.