By John Stark
BELLINGHAM — City Hall and the Port of Bellingham have just announced a potential blockbuster of a real estate swap on the waterfront, a swap that is being touted as a way to speed up both industrial and park development.
Read the press release here, on the city’s website. The site also provides helpful, if complicated, maps of this complex transaction. The port will get city-owned industrial land on the northwest side of Whatcom Waterway, while the city will take sole ownership of the Cornwall Beach area. That is an old city landfill site that is partly port-owned and is now undergoing some environmental cleanup.
The city would also get access to the big breakwater that surrounds the old Georgia-Pacific Corp. wastewater lagoon, for construction of a pedestrian walkway. Port officials had envisioned something similar as part of their plan for installation of a new marina inside the lagoon, but the marina proposal is now on indefinite hold.
No money would change hands as a part of this deal, and nothing is certain until both the Port Commission and City Council hold public hearings and vote their approval. Those hearings are already scheduled:
UPDATE–Port commissioners will review the proposal at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 in the Harbor Center Conference Room at port offices on Roeder Avenue. (I had a typo in the date on first draft here…)
–City Council will take a look at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 in council chambers at City Hall.