Mattapoisett Boatyard looks to rebuild, seeks aid from town

Jan 23, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Five months after it was destroyed in a massive fire, the Mattapoisett Boatyard is looking forward to new construction and a new look. 

According to David Davignon, an engineer with Schneider, Davignon & Leone, Inc., who represented the boatyard during a Jan. 23 meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission, the new design for the Mattapoisett Boatyard includes one 10,570 square foot building that will be used to house the boatyard’s interior operations. 

The building will be two floors and will be made from metal, said Davignon, who went on to explain that the new building will be 56% smaller than the previous buildings at the boatyard which totaled around 23,800 square feet. 

“We’re pushing the building toward the back property line to make better usage for the storage of boats,” said Davignon. “There is a future expansion shown between the building and Ned’s Point Road [but we] want to lay out a master plan for a future build out.”

Davignon said that the future expansion will bring the footprint of the boatyard to around 16,000 square feet. 

The estimated cost to rebuild the boatyard will be approximately $2.5 million, said Kaiser during a Jan. 10 meeting of the Mattapoisett Select Board.

“But that's phase one — we hope,” said Mattapoisett Boatyard co-owner David Kaiser.  “We've sort of scaled this down a bit because everything's just so it's just so expensive. We're already looking out at phase two, if this all works out.”

In the aftermath of the fire, Kaiser said he never “thought of getting out of this business.” 

“Even with the fire hoses and the smoke and the chaos that was going on, I can say with 100% certainty that the thought never occurred to us,” he said at the time.

Since the fire, GoFundMe campaigns and fundraising efforts have gathered over $150,000 to benefit the boatyard. But even with the outpouring of support from the Tri-Town community, money is still a barrier. 

To help soften the financial burden, the boatyard approached the Mattapoisett Select Board about setting up a TIF, tax increment financing, program with the town during a Jan. 10 meeting of the Mattapoisett Select Board. 

A TIF is a negotiated agreement between a municipality and a private business that provides relief on the additional taxes paid on a parcel of land that come from any improvements made to the land. 

The amount of relief can be anywhere between a five percent tax reduction and 100% tax reduction over a period of five to 20 years. 

According to Kevin Kuros, regional director of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, TIFs are often used to support businesses that are making capital investments on their land.

After an agreed upon period of time, the property owner will pay the full amount of taxes on the improved land. 

The proposed TIF must first be negotiated between both the town and the boatyard, said Kuros, then the agreement be voted on during a town meeting. Finally, after approval from the Office of Business Development a TIF can go into effect. 

“It's not a super heavy lift, really, to get this done and teed up for town meeting,” said Kuros. The biggest hurdle is just reaching an agreement as to duration and discount percentage and everything else falls into place once you reach that.”