Port of Bellingham takes one step closer to new marina

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A proposed 600-slip marina that has been envisioned as part of a redevelopment plan for the Bellingham (Wash.) Bay waterfront took a giant step toward reality Wednesday when Georgia-Pacific West Inc. said it is prepared to hand over 137 acres of waterfront real estate to the Port of Bellingham, according to a story in today’s Bellingham Herald newspaper.

G-P had been asking $35 million for the site, but under the terms of the tentative deal, the port would pay nothing for the property but agree to take over the still-undetermined cost of cleaning up environmental contamination on land and in the bay – a cost that will run into millions of dollars, the newspaper reported.

“This breakthrough just occurred in the last several days,” Port Executive Director Jim Darling told the Herald. “Things just fell into place. We aligned our interests.”

The port and the company will now spend the next 120 days completing environmental studies. Port commissioners said they won’t commit to taking over the property until they get a clear idea of how much cleanup work will be necessary, and what that cleanup will cost, according to the newspaper.

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