The Puget Sound Pulp and Timber Company operated at the downtown waterfront site from 1926 until 1963, when the Georgia-Pacific Corporation purchased it. The Georgia-Pacific Corporation shut down pulp mill operations in 2001 and tissue plant operations in 2007, closing the plant that year. The Port of Bellingham acquired the Georgia-Pacific Corporation’s 137-acre site valued at $137 million for $10 (yes, $10 is correct). In exchange for the low purchase price, the port agreed to perform all environmental remediation on the property.
The following dates are Port Commission meetings.
2/18/2014 — Commission authorizes the executive director to negotiate an agreement with Harcourt Developments Limited of Dublin, Ireland, to redevelop 10.8 acres in the Waterfront District.
7/15/2014 — Negotiations to complete the initial Harcourt draft agreement were extended for 120 days.
11/4/2014 — Authorize the executive director, staff and/or commissioner to travel to Dublin to visit the Harcourt facility. The trip will look at the balance sheet, speak to community leaders, and observe the company firsthand.
3/31/2015 — Authorize the executive director to sign a master development agreement with Harcourt Developments Limited of Dublin, Ireland, for 18.8 acres within the Waterfront District. Harcourt paid the port $200,000 for the Granary Building and $20 per square foot (increasing 3 percent annually) to acquire additional property as future building projects.
11/3/2015 — Authorize the executive director to sign a contract extension requiring a building permit be submitted for the Granary Building by 2/19/2016.
5/3/2016 — Authorize the executive director to sign a second contract extension for a second building permit by six months to 11/19/2016.
4/17/2018 — Authorize the executive director to sign all documents to complete the sale of 1.7 acres (purchase price $1,601,887) for Project #2 — waterfront residential building redevelopment — to Harcourt Bellingham.
3/6/2018 — Authorize the executive director to sign project #2 agreement submitted by Harcourt Bellingham. Project #2 includes three buildings with underground parking for 144 cars and 72 bicycles, approximately 136,000 square feet of residential and 26,000 square feet of commercial (retail, restaurant, etc.) along with 15,000 square feet of dedicated public open space. The proposed buildings are four stories tall with an estimated construction cost of $32 million. Construction is expected to begin August 2018 and occupancy will begin in October 2019.
10/8/2019 — Authorize the executive director to modify the Project #2 agreement. Construction was expected to begin in August 2018, with occupancy to begin in October 2019. With this modification, construction is expected to start in May 2020, with building occupancy to begin in January 2022.
8/9/21 — See Oct/Nov 2021 article, “Harcourt Falls Short on Condo Project,” for details.
Source of Commission Meetings: Whatcom Watch Archives