This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
Leaders of the Port of Tacoma, including Executive Director Tim Farrell, have blamed the global recession for the failure of the massive NYK terminal project. The story turns out to be far more complicated – and far less flattering for the port.
Kelly Kearsley’s postmortem in Sunday’s News Tribune details major miscalculations that threatened a fiasco even in the absence of the abrupt decline in maritime shipping.
The project – which included building a terminal for NYK Line and overhauling much of the east side of the Blair Waterway – was estimated at $800 million when announced in 2007. The estimates grew by 50 percent, to $1.2 billion, before the whole thing was called off.
The port wound up sinking $190 million into the deal. Most of that money wasn’t wasted: $146 million was spent on real estate that will probably come in handy at some point.
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