GOULDSBORO — It took less than an hour last Wednesday for Tranzon Auction Properties to sell Gouldsboro Enterprise’s South Gouldsboro property, comprising a lobster buying station, 65-foot wharf, lobster pound, two-story home and a .09-acre parcel of land, for $380,000 to Hal Harlan of Indianapolis, Ind. The previous owner was Melinda Boumans who bought the business in 2013.
In 25- to 30-mile-an-hour winds from the southwest, Tranzon’s senior vice-president Mike Carey stood on a hillside facing Bunkers Cove and told the crowd numbering more than two dozen that the bidding would start first for the whole property. Acting on behalf of Machias Savings Bank and Boumans, Carey opened the bidding at $300,000 for the entire holdings, but several parties’ offers were not high enough, nor were they suffi cient when the assets were grouped and offered. After several rounds, the auctioneer resumed bidding for the entire property with the top bid of $380,000 made by Harlan.
For just over a year, JBR Maine LLC has leased and run the Gouldsboro Enterprise’s lobster-buying station in Bunkers Harbor. The Phippsburg-based wholesale bait and lobster company, which also leases the Winter Harbor Marina facility off Sargent Street from Pettegrow Properties, is in talks with the new owner about its current lease and continued operation in South Gouldsboro, according to JBR Maine General Manager Brittany Willis. Jordan Mazzetta, Willis and Rick Whitten are the partners behind JBR Maine.
At present, JBR Maine continues to operate the Bunkers Cove wharf, where the South Gouldsboro lobster fleet members sell their catch, source bait and other services.
“The successful bidder [Hal Harlan] acknowledges we have an active lease,” Willis said last week. She and Whitten, who is JBR Maine’s operations manager, jointly run the Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro buying stations. “We care about the fishermen there. We want to preserve their waterfront access.”
Boumans originally acquired the Bunkers Cove properties from Leonard Bishko and Joseph Boyd in 2013. Last February, ill health forced her to make some decisions regarding the operation’s future. “Although life had other plans for me, I still believe, now more than ever, that Downeast Maine is a great investment,” the former owner told the American last month.