Harcourt to sign €15m US port deal
Developer to sign contract to redevelop 18.8-acre site in Washington state
Harcourt will buy the Port of Bellingham 18.8-acre site in stages and redevelop it as a shopping and business centre
Harcourt and the authorities in Port of Bellingham in Washington state in the US are due to sign a contract for the redevelopment of a disused granary and paper mill in the harbour at the end of the month.
Under its terms, Harcourt will buy the 18.8-acre site in stages and redevelop it as a shopping and business centre in line with plans agreed with the port authority.
The Irish company will buy the property at $20 a square foot, which works out a total of €15.14 million. The price was set by the port authority and based on independent valuations.
According to local media reports, work on the development is likely to begin within two years.
The port is due to complete a clean-up of the old industrial site before rebuilding can begin.
Granary The first phase of the work, the redevelopment of an old granary
, will have to be completed by 2019, and further stage is scheduled to be finished in 2021.
According to a draft of the agreement between the two which Port of Bellingham released this week, a third phase will have to be completed by 2024 and a million square feet will have to be redeveloped in 2034.
The agreed schedule is subject to market conditions.
The Pat Doherty-led Harcourt has been in talks with the port company for a year.
The port authority, which is a state agency, wants the site, formerly home to a Georgia Pacific paper mill and a granary, redeveloped as a mixed residential, commercial and retail area along the lines of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.
Three rival proposals Harcourt was chosen over three other developers that submitted proposals for the site, including a local consortium, Uniting Creatives/Four Pillars and a high-profile Portland, Orego
n-based developer, Williams & Dame.
Port of Bellingham chose the Irish developer because of the work that it had done in Belfast. Officials from the US harbour authority visited the Titanic Quarter and Park West in Dublin late last year.
Harcourt is establishing a special-purpose vehicle, Harcourt Washington LLC, to work on the project.
The contract for the redevelopment of the Port of Bellingham site will be signed at a special ceremony on March 31st.
The city of Bellingham is located in Whatcom county in the southwestern corner of Washington state. It has a population of about 80,000.