Bellingham Marine plans to return to the local waterfront after being away for six years.
The company, known for building concrete floating docks that are used in marinas around the world, is finalizing a lease agreement with the Port of Bellingham for about two acres of waterfront property along C Street, near Colony Wharf.
The company wants to add a new manufacturing and dock facility for its pre-cast concrete products, a growing division within Bellingham Marine, said General Manager Jesse Ellenz. The pre-cast products are used for a variety of large projects, such as bridges and girders.
The waterfront property is attractive to Bellingham Marine because it can load the product onto ships or barges, thus lowering transportation costs.
Bellingham Marine intends to use some of the property soon after it finalizes the lease, which could happen this spring. Part of the property is involved in the port's waterfront cleanup and won't be ready for the company until later. Ellenz expects to be fully operational on that site within the next year.
How many additional jobs will result will depend on the number of projects the company can get. Many of the products its makes are for construction, which can ramp up and then down quickly. At its Ferndale facility, which will be a similar size, the labor force can range from 20 to 50 people.
"This (Bellingham facility) would create new jobs, because it will allow us to go after some bigger projects," Ellenz said.
When the company began looking for new waterfront property, returning to Bellingham was important. The company has its corporate office away from the water in Bellingham and has facilities in Ferndale and Lynden, as well as other parts of the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
"We really wanted to bring some jobs back to Bellingham," Ellenz said, "and we like what the port has been doing with the waterfront."
UPCOMING MEETINGS FOR WATERFRONT REDEVELOPMENT
The Bellingham Planning and Development Commission is reviewing plans for The Waterfront District, which involves the 237 acres of former G-P property. An overview presentation of the plan is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in Bellingham City Council chambers.
Two public hearings are scheduled following the overview presentation: 7 p.m. March 21 and 7 p.m. March 28, also in council chambers.
Documents are online at cob.org. Details: 360-778-8300.
Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2269.