Staff Seek Commission Approval to Negotiate with Harcourt Developments on Waterfront – News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 12, 2014

Staff Seek Commission Approval to Negotiate with Harcourt Developments on Waterfront
Agreement Would Launch Exclusive Negotiations for First 10.8 Acre Development Parcel

[Bellingham, Wash.] On Tuesday (Feb. 18) the Port of Bellingham’s Board of Commissioners will be asked to approve an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Harcourt Developments from Dublin, Ireland, for the first development parcel in the Bellingham Waterfront District.

If approved, the agreement would launch an up-to-120-day period of time for the Port and Harcourt to seek agreement on development plans and business terms, which would be taken back to the Commission for final approval.

Harcourt submitted one of four proposals received in July 2013 to be master developer for the 10.8 acre parcel that is adjacent to downtown Bellingham alongside the Whatcom Waterway and includes the Granary Building.  The Port also received three development proposals for restoration and re-use of the Granary Building and project proposals for development of a hotel and for affordable housing.

“We believe Harcourt has the greatest development experience, a strong development team and the financial ability to move forward in bringing our Waterfront District redevelopment plan to reality,” said Port Executive Director Rob Fix. “All of the development proposals we received included valuable ideas and projects and we will be encouraging Harcourt to work with the other developers to seek partnerships.”

Harcourt is a major international developer with extensive waterfront redevelopment experience in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe and other parts of the world. A significant Harcourt project is the major redevelopment of a former shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Titanic Quarter). In the company’s proposal, Harcourt noted that its core development group would be reinforced with local firm and advisors if chosen for the Bellingham project.

Since July the Port has worked with local project partners to review all proposals, interview all potential developers and make a recommendation to the Commission. The selection of Harcourt Developments was the unanimous choice of the group, which included Port Executive Director Rob Fix, Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, County Executive Jack Louws, Western Vice President Steve Swan and staff from the Port and City.

Fix noted that the selection group also unanimously agreed that Tollhouse Energy/Zervas Group provided the strongest development proposal for the Granary Building. The Port will be recommending that Harcourt work closely with Tollhouse to determine if the Tollhouse Energy/Zervas Group Granary proposal could work with the Harcourt proposal.

Fix emphasized that Harcourt principals have pledged to bring forth a development concept for the 10.8 acre parcel that is in alignment with the Waterfront District plan adopted by the Port and City in December.

Full Staff Recommendation Report Link

For More Information:
Port of Bellingham:
Carolyn Casey, Director of External Affairs
360-676-2500; 360-303-0518
carolync@portofbellingham.com

Harcourt Developments website: http://www.harcourtdevelopments.com/
www.portofbellingham.com

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