Dry storage facilities are in demand these days, and the Port of Bellingham is making sure the ones it has stay dry.
The agency recently completed a $500,000 project replacing the 45,786-square-foot roof of Warehouse 2 at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, which is near the former Georgia-Pacific property.
The warehouse is now available for lease; it had most recently been used for marine fabrication work for the commercial fishing vessel Excellence. The new roof ensures the building stays water-tight, making it available for storage of moisture-sensitive commodities, according to a news release from the Port.
The available space is already attracting attention, said Port Commission President Dan Robbins. The Port is working with four different companies to potentially use sections of the building for storing agricultural products for both export and import, but a deal has not been finalized.
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One reason for the uptick in interest for dry storage space is the busyness at the nearby Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. ports, making Bellingham a good alternative, Robbins said. He noted that with the recent dredging and cleanup of the waterway, the shipping terminal can now be used by large vessels.
The project was done quicker than originally planned and under budget, said Jon Gibson, Port engineer. The contractors on the project, Cadence Construction Inc. of Seattle, were able to take advantage of dry summer weather, Gibson said. The Port also had some idea what to expect after replacing a similar roof on an adjacent warehouse last year.
The new roof is part of a series of upgrades for the terminal with the goal of attracting new business. Other improvements include a new bulkhead, stormwater work and the cleanup of the waterway.
Residents should also see some activity around the shipping terminal in the coming weeks as a ship arrives to take a shipment of logs, Robbins said.