Bellingham port leases ex-G-P warehouse to Canadian furniture firm
Port of Bellingham officials Tuesday approved a two-year $1.4 million lease of a five-acre port warehouse to a Canadian baby furniture manufacturer.
The 240,000-square-foot warehouse is part of a 137-acre waterfront site obtained from Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific over the past three years. G-P shuttered the 45-year-old tissue mill on the site in December 2007 and the port has already begun redeveloping portions of the parcel.
Under terms of the new lease, Stork Craft (USA) Inc. will pay $60,000 per month for two years to use 210,000 square feet of the warehouse. The lease also contains an option to extend the terms for an additional year. The remaining portion of the warehouse, under city rules, must be utilized for marine-related uses. The port, in conjunction with boatbuilding firms and several area educational institutions, have been considering the 30,000-square-foot space for the development of an 'innovation zone.'
Despite the warehouse location within the port, Stork Craft does not intend to immediately utilize the adjacent maritime facilities. The firm, which distributes baby and children's furniture from its manufacturing plants in China, plans to continue receiving its products in containers through the ports of Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. The containers will then be trucked to the Bellingham warehouse.
Stork Craft officials said the Bellingham location was ideally situated between the Seattle and Vancouver ports, and close to the firm's headquarters just across the U.S.-Canada border in Richmond, British Columbia.
The furniture maker is looking at shipping its cargo directly through the Bellingham port, however it would require a significant investment in container loading/unloading equipment at the warehouse site.