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Port commission approves changes to land sale deal

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Oct. 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm with No Comments »
October 18, 2012 3:50 pm

A long-pending land sale deal between the Port of Tacoma and the Puyallup Tribe now appears ready for signing after the Port of Tacoma Commission Thursday approved adjustments to the deal.

Under that deal, first drafted in 2008 and amended Thursday, the port will sell the tribe three parcels of Tideflats land.

One parcel is the former Ole & Charlie’s Marina on Marine View Drive, another is a tract on Taylor Way and the third is a site along the east side of the Blair Waterway near where the tribe already owns a strategic parcel of waterfront land.

Along with that waterfront land, the port will also sell the tribe adjacent submerged lands.

The tribe, in partnership with terminal operator SSA, wants to make that land into a terminal to serve shipping interests. The tribe originally obtained the Blair property in a land claims settlement nearly 25 years ago, but the claims property was oddly shaped.

The new purchases including the land on Taylor Way will make the tribe’s parcel more usable.

The Ole & Charlie’s property is adjacent to another marina the tribe owns on the Hylebos Waterway. The tribe hasn’t said what it intends to do with the marina property. It could use the property to expand its existing marina or it could turn it into a site designed to foster growth of fish and wildlife.

Port officials said they expect the deal will close by the month’s end. In addition to some $4.1 million, the port will receive land worth some $8.2 million which it intends to use to cut back to widen the Blair Waterway at some undetermined time in the future.

Studies have shown the Blair will need widening to safely accommodate larger ships calling in the future.

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