G-P applies to demolish steam plant, smoke stacks

By Ryan Wynne

The waterfront skyline could look a little different as early as this winter.

Georgia-Pacific (G-P) demolition consultant Dick Perry filed for a demolition permit with the City of Bellingham to fulfill the company’s last remaining obligation at the Bellingham waterfront site: demolition of the steam plant and smoke stacks.

Perry said the contractor for the project, Staton Company from Eugene, Ore., wants to start demolition this winter, but the timeline depends on if and when the city approves the permit.

The project is expected to cost an estimated $300,000 and is the last of the demolition projects required under G-P’s purchase and sale agreement with the Port of Bellingham, which bought the site in 2005. G-P agreed to demolish buildings, tanks and structures the port didn’t want, at an estimated cost of approximately $6 million, according to a Sept. 2005 port news release.

Those demolitions have included some 30 structures so far, Perry said.

This is the second attempt to tear down the steam plant. The first ended in 2008 with the city denying the permit because it wanted to conduct a study to see if the building, which has parts dating back to 1938, was worth saving.

Fred Seeger, interim executive director for the port, said a study determined that renovating the building for historical preservation would be too high and he doesn’t know if it’s economically feasible to preserve any of the buildings.

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