The standoff between Belfast real estate developer Paul Naron and city officials over access to a popular pedestrian path has led to something new: a listing for the waterfront property that is at the heart of the controversy.
Realtor Mike Cunning of Worth Real Estate Inc. said Thursday that Naron’s listing for 7 and 15 Front St., two adjacent parcels that total 1.8 acres, has been live for about a week. In that time, he’s had one inquiry about the property, which is listed for $3.5 million.
“He will sell, certainly,” Cunning said, describing the current Belfast real estate market as “exuberant” and that Naron’s property is “priced to sell.”
Cunning said that he will let all prospective buyers know about the ongoing situation with the city that evidently has soured Naron’s desire to convert the two waterfront buildings on the property to multi-use commercial spaces and expand the existing wharf to create a marina.
The catch has been access to the Harbor Walk, which travels from the Armistice Bridge to the Belfast Boat House. Prior to Naron’s purchase of the former Consumer’s Fuel and French & Webb buildings on Front Street, that part of the waterfront was closed to the public and Harbor Walk users had to swerve around the properties using an uphill detour.
Naron opened it to the public two years ago, but city officials want a permanent easement that would guarantee access forever. Because the two properties are subject to contract, or spot, rezoning, the City Council ultimately approves or rejects elements of a zoning plan.