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Port of Bellingham continues negotiations with potential waterfront developer Harcourt

The Granary Building on Bellingham's waterfront, built in 1928 as the focal point of a once-booming egg and poultry business in Whatcom County, is just one of many sites being considered for redevelopment by the Port of Bellingham.
The Granary Building on Bellingham's waterfront, built in 1928 as the focal point of a once-booming egg and poultry business in Whatcom County, is just one of many sites being considered for redevelopment by the Port of Bellingham. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BELLINGHAM - The Port of Bellingham commissioners have agreed to continue negotiations with Dublin-based Harcourt Developments Limited on plans to redevelop nearly 11 acres on the central waterfront.

The port will take another 120 days to negotiate an agreement with Harcourt on the first parcel of the 237-acre waterfront area. The 10.8 acres were previously occupied by the Georgia-Pacific Corp. pulp and tissue mill and include the Granary Building.

At the Tuesday, July 15, commission meeting, port Executive Director Rob Fix said a lot was accomplished during the first 120-day negotiation period that the commission approved in February. Much of that time was spent getting the potential developer up to speed on things like the necessary cleanup, the port's legal limitations, and what the city of Bellingham would be expected to do. The two negotiated a framework agreement.

For the next 120 days, Fix said he hopes to talk price for the land, with options to sell or lease, as well as define performance-based options that might allow Harcourt to develop up to about 20 acres.

By the end of the next negotiation period, Fix said the idea is to at least know if the port will go forward with Harcourt. Neither the port nor Harcourt have committed to one another yet.

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