Friday, June 7, 2019

Everett to Acquire Kimberly-Clark Property

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett took a significant step in reclaiming the vacant Kimberly-Clark (K-C) mill site this week when the port commission agreed to use its eminent domain authority to acquire up to 67-acres of this deep-water property.

Commissioners said it is in the public’s best interest to obtain the land to support maritime commerce, economic development, international trade and support to the Department of Defense and other branches of the U.S. government.

“The urban deep-water Port is a key public facility that should be open to all types of commerce. This property is a prime example why the Washington State Legislature created the Port Districts Act in 1911, Port Commissioner Tom Stiger said. “The creation of this act, and the Port a few short years later was a reaction to the private domination of docks and harbors that were critical to the trade-dependent state's economy.”

According to Port Commissioner Bruce Fingarson, the site is critical to the port’s future maritime stability and community’s economic success, adding that the port is committed to working with Kimberly-Clark even through eminent domain proceedings.

The port moved forward with the action despite K-C announcing an agreement with Pacific Stevedoring and Glacier Fish Company to develop a distribution center for fish processing and corporate headquarters. The port says most of the uses are not deep-water dependent and added that it was “skeptical of the private party’s ability to put the site back into productive use in a timely fashion, as evidenced by its lack of job creation with its lease.”

“The Port has been a leader in attracting the seafood industry to Everett and Snohomish County,” Port CEO Les Reardanz said. “We believe there is a win-win in this situation. We look forward to engaging with the private parties to find the best fit for them in our community.”