BEST HARBOR – New Maritime Center Welcome Addition to Bustling Padanaram Village

By Sabrina Guilbeault

DARTMOUTH – Over the past few years, Dartmouth residents have had front row seats to the revitalization of Padanaram. Thanks to new restaurants like Farm and Coast Market, new store fronts like Dahlia Living, and of course the reopening of the bridge and causeway, the Village has seen an increase of energy and activity.

The next big thing to come to the harbor is the Padanaram Maritime Center, which is expected to bring in even more activity from both residents and visitors alike. It’s been two years since the project was approved at a town Select Board meeting, and the construction of the building will be completed soon.

“This Maritime Center is not primarily an office for any town department, but rather a state-of-the-art, public accommodation to welcome visiting and local mariners to our town,” said Dartmouth’s Harbormaster Steve Melo. “The Center will provide local mariners with direct access by water to the provisioning, services, and shopping opportunities that Padanaram Village and the Dartmouth community provide.”

The single-story, 530 square foot building, which is expected to open this season, will include a public viewing deck, boat ramp, two bathrooms and showers, and a 14-foot by 14-foot multi-purpose room, which will be used as a welcome room, meeting space, and seasonal offices for the harbormaster.

A seasonal facility that is open to boaters and the general public, the center stands on town-owned property at Bridge and Water streets. According to Deborah Melino-Wender, Town of Dartmouth Director of Development, the original proposal for the project also included the $765,000 purchase of the adjacent property, however this was rejected by Town Meeting voters in 2016.

Melino-Wender explained the good the center will bring to Dartmouth, citing that most municipal harbors have a visitor’s center or some sort of stopping-off point, and that this center presents an exciting opportunity for the Village.