Maine's second-largest publicly-traded company officially broke ground on a new headquarters on the waterfront in Portland Tuesday morning.
Melissa Smith is the president and CEO of WEX. She says there were practical considerations to the company's decision to build near the water in Portland, but that's not all.
"We also liked the visibility that you get associated with the city," she says, "so the idea you can bring customers there and they can look at where cruise ships coming in, and this shipping channel they're going to be looking at."
WEX bought the site for $3.3 million this summer; and the city approved the site plan earlier this month. The company - which processes payments for businesses - plans to move in to the new headquarters next year.
The new building will be a four-story, 100,000-square-foot mixed-use development with retail tenants on the first floor.
Portland Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell says having WEX in Portland raises the city's profile from an international perspective.