A private developer in Portland, Maine, is having a public bid letting for a marina expansion project tied to a 10-acre redevelopment of Portland’s eastern waterfront that would double the dockage at the Fore Points marina and include space for megayachts.

Portland Foreside Development’s marina plan is the first phase of a what is to be a six-block community with upscale residences, shopping, restaurants and a hotel, that was approved by the city in 2016. The company last year got approval from the Board of Harbor Commissioners to expand the marina to 141 slips with space for huge yachts up to 125ft in length.

With access to a deep-water port, the marina is “optimally positioned to become a seasonal megayacht home port and point of embarkation,” according to the Portland Foreside website.

While the marina is a private development, it will go through a public bidding process overseen by the state because about US$1.5m of the US$17m expansion is covered by a federal boating infrastructure grant awarded to the developer in 2015.

Since the project is partially funded with federal money, it “requires oversight from a government entity to ensure the funds are being expended appropriately,” Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot told the Portland Press Herald.

Initial plans for a new marina building with restrooms, showers and laundry facilities is on hold for now, but planned as part of the second phase of development.

Companies have until August 17 to submit bids, with marina construction expected to begin this September or October and should be completed by February.