Five Developers Express Interest in Port of Tacoma’s Former Smelter Site

By John Gillie, November 27, 2013, The News Tribune

The former site of a World War II-era aluminium smelter on the Tacoma Tideflats is attracting renewed interest from a handful of potential developers.

The 60-acre tract between the Blair and Hylebos Waterways’ south ends has drawn letters of intent from five developers who say they intend to submit proposals for the property by mid-December.

The land owner, the Port of Tacoma, put the property up for long-term lease last month after a deal with an oil distribution firm, Targa Sound Terminal, collapsed.

Targa spent seven months studying the property as the site for a new bulk liquids terminal before deciding not to proceed with the project.  During that time,  Targa paid the port $700,000 for the privilege of tying up the land while it completed its study.

The property was the site of a Kaiser Aluminum smelter built during the Second World War to supply aluminum to Boeing’s aircraft factories.

After the smelter closed in 2000, the port bought the 96-acre site.  It demolished 75 buildings and cleaned up decades of pollution on the site.

When the Targa plan halted, the port said it expected the site would attract considerable interest because of its size and its proximity to port shipping terminals.

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