The developer behind a proposed $40 million project on Saco Island said Thursday that the owners of Nonesuch River Brewing want to build a restaurant on the 6-acre property.

Bernie Saulnier’s proposal for The Waters, a mixed-use development on the vacant east side of Saco Island, will go before the Saco Planning Board on Aug. 21 and the Saco River Corridor Commission on Aug. 22. The project cannot move forward without permits from the commission, a quasi-state organization tasked with protecting the environment along the Saco River corridor.

Saulnier previously announced that Jim Brady, the Portland developer behind projects such as The Press Hotel, wants to open a boutique hotel on the island. Saulnier’s proposal also calls for 92 condos, 10,000 square feet of retail space, two marinas and a river walk.

Tim Boardman, one of three owners of Nonesuch River Brewing, said he and his partners share Saulnier’s enthusiasm for the project.

“It is remarkable that this unique property sat neglected and underutilized for so long,” Boardman said. “This will truly be a fantastic addition to the recent development in the Saco-Biddeford area.”

Denise Clavette, director of planning and economic development for Saco, met this week with the owners of Nonesuch River Brewing as they outlined their plans for the restaurant. Clavette said she is particularly excited about the professional background of Jeff Gambardella, the executive chef and a co-owner of Nonesuch River Brewing. Gambardella came to Maine from San Francisco, where he owned restaurants.


“These folks already have a thriving success story under their belts, and in addition to the hotel that has already agreed to come to Saco Island, this catapults the city forward dramatically,” Clavette said in a prepared statement. “This is a quantum leap.”

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: grahamgillian

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