The abandoned Granary Building on Bellingham’s waterfront will be included in the first round of redevelopment requests for the site that was once home to the Georgia-Pacific pulp and paper mill.
The Port of Bellingham board of commissioners asked port staff to include the historic structure in an initial offering to developers, expected to happen between November and December of this year, according to a port announcement.
In 2005, the port and the city of Bellingham entered an agreement to develop a master plan and an environmental impact assessment for the waterfront property.
As redevelopment plans have moved forward, the future of the Granary Building has created controversy between the port and some local developers and historical preservationists—particularly after port officials announced plans in May to demolish the structure, citing extensive renovation costs.
The total amount of money needed to rehabilitate the building—Mike Stoner, the port’s environmental programs director, has said such a project could cost as much as $14 million—has been disputed by parties on both sides of the issue.
Rather than being marketed as a stand-alone project, the Granary Building will be included along with a section of land near the head of the Whatcom Waterway, adjacent to downtown Bellingham, according to the port.
“While this is not a guarantee that the Granary will be redeveloped, it does allow developers to evaluate it and determine if they can make the renovation pencil out,” Port Commission President Scott Walker said, in a statement. “The port is not interested in subsidizing the building or waiting years to determine its outcome. But we are willing to offer it to developers to find out if they are interested in investing in the Granary.”
More coverage of the waterfront Granary Building
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