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May 12, 2021

Port seeks to add 400,000 square feet at Terminal 91

Real Estate Editor

Photo by Port of Seattle [enlarge]
The Port’s two upland development sites are a little south of a BNSF maitenance barn, and west of the railroad tracks.

The Port of Seattle has for decades been making gradual improvements to the uplands portion of its Terminal 91, at 2001 W. Garfield St., on Smith Cove. There's been prior demolition work and environmental cleanup. Now the Port is soliciting bids for two or more new buildings on about 15 acres, on the north end of the property.

A public notice recently ran in the DJC, (https://tinyurl.com/Terminal91), where details are available A pre-bid session for interested parties will be held on May 24 via Microsoft Teams, and formal responses are due by June 10.

Phase I would be a 100,000-square-foot project well north of the Magnolia Bridge — roughly between West Wheeler Street and, to the north, the Elliott Bay Trail. Funding is in place for that $39 million project. One or two buildings could fit the bill. The Port wants the core and shell to meet LEED certification. The port hopes to complete that 6-acre project by 2024; two years ago, the target was 2021.

Next, to the south, Phase II would add another 300,000 square feet in one or more buildings. Funding isn't yet in place for that. The Port envisions a possible 10- or 15-year timeline for both phases, which would proceed under the same Phased Development Plan (MDP) that the applicant would have to procure.

That 9-acre site now has at least one building that might or might not be incorporated into Phase II.

Both phases are planned for the northeast end of the entire 212-acre property. The Port's long-term strategic plan from 2016, subject to change, envisions a possible 700,000 square feet of industrial buildings on the east side of a new central road. The west side, for now, isn't being discussed.

Seattle's close-in industrial market is notoriously tight. In the Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing & Industrial Center, or BINMIC, the Port estimates a vacancy rate of around 1.9%. Neil Walter Co. uses the same figure for what it terms West Seattle. Casting a wider net, Kidder Mathews puts the close-in Seattle vacancy rate at 4%.

The Port has owned Terminal 91 and its piers since 1976. Before that, it was variously owned or used by tank farm operators and the U.S. Navy. The old tank farm was removed in 2005. The new cruise ship facility at Pier 91 opened circa 2009. Old munitions have been removed as late as 2012. Some environmental cleanup is still ongoing, per the state Department of Ecology.


Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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