PORTLAND (AP) — The Maine Department of Transportation has paid a Portland businessman $7.2 million for 18 acres of industrial waterfront land it seized from him this spring as part of a seaport terminal expansion project.

The price was more than double what the businessman paid for the same land just two years ago, according to tax records and information obtained by the Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/VPxdjH) through a Freedom of Access request.

The businessman, Phineas Sprague Jr., has given the state notice that he will likely challenge the value, a process that could lead to years of litigation.

A lawyer for Sprague says the price was justified because an announcement last year by Eimskip shipping line to make Portland its only port of call in the United States dramatically increased the land’s value.


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