What do you get when you mix a Brownfield with waterfront property in Northwest Washington? A lot of potential with a lot of work to realize that potential. Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use. Waterfront property anywhere in Washington is expensive, and not easy for the public to acquire in the current economy. Brownfield sites often require substantial cleanup of pollutants left over from former industrial use. In the case of Bellingham Bay, Georgia Pacific sold 137 acres of waterfront property (valued at US$37 million) to the Port of Bellingham for $10 in exchange for assuming responsibility for the environmental cleanup of the property.
The city and port have entered into a partnership to jointly clean up and redevelop the property, which is to be branded “The Waterfront District.” A general plan for the city’s waterfront was developed several years ago by the Waterfront Futures Group, and the new Waterfront Advisory Group has been convening to develop a more detailed plan focused on this particular site.
The Cornwall Beach (Area 10) Masterplan designed by Christensen Design Management is the redevelopment of 18 of those acres, including integration of Public Parks, Department of Natural Resources Land, and pedestrian connectivity to existing trails. The masterplan includes habitat and shoreline restoration and uses Native American Tribal design concepts. It also includes 160,000 sf of mixed use commercial development.