Waterfront District Redevelopment

The Waterfront District


The Port and City of Bellingham are redeveloping 237 acres on Bellingham's central waterfront that was formerly a pulp and tissue mill. A Master Plan has been approved to create a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood with new parks and trails and thousands of new jobs. This large land area won't change overnight; it will be redeveloped in phases over the next 40-50 years of investment and development before the project is completely finished.

What's Happening Now?


  • The City of Bellingham has finished construction on Waypoint Park and Central Pier providing the community with public access to the downtown waterfront for the first time in over 100 years.  
  • Construction on a new roadway through the downtown waterfront is underway.  Granary Avenue and Laurel Street are scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018 providing further public access to the waterfront area.  The new roadway includes the City's first cycle track, a bike line physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalk.
  • The Port and City have partnered to develop a Heritage Trail Concept which includes recommendations on how to showcase historic icons remaining from Georgia-Pacific's pulp and tissue mill.
  • The Port has submitted a proposed update to the Waterfront District Master Plan to improve the layout of parks and roads through the interior of the downtown waterfront. 
  • Check out this overview video showing recent events in the Waterfront District.
  • Check out this amazing demolition video showing the removal of Digester Building.  The Digester Building and Chipper Building were removed in the Fall of 2015 to help prepare the site for development with over 95% of the building materials reused or recycled on-site.  
  • The Port completed a $10 Million project to build a new 57,000 square foot manufacturing facility for local boat builder All American Marine in 2017 bringing new family-wage jobs and private investment to the central waterfront.
  • The Port sold two acres of property and a 48,000 square foot warehouse to local solar panel manufacturer Itek Energy allowing Itek to expand and hire additional employees.  The development of Itek's new solar panel manufacturing plant added over 100 jobs to an increasingly vibrant downtown core.   
  • The Port Commission signed a Master Development Agreement with Dublin-based Harcourt Developments to develop 18.8 acres on Bellingham's downtown waterfront. Harcourt has started construction on their first project, the adaptive reuse of the iconic Granary Building
  • The Port finished a $35 Million cleanup of the Whatcom Waterway in 2016.  This project removed historic contamination, restored salmon habitat, rebuilt marine trades infrastructure along the shoreline and created a significant number of construction jobs and long-term employment opportunities. 
  • The City completed a New Waterfront Trail in 2015 connecting Squalicum Harbor to the former GP Aeration Stabilization Basin.  This new trail offers spectacular views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands.
  • The City has completed the final master plan for Cornwall Beach Park (17-acres) which will be Bellingham's largest waterfront park.
  • The Port is targeting family-wage job industries such as Clean Tech and Marine Cargo and Related Construction for recruitment to the Waterfront District.
  • The Port is working with the Department of Ecology to clean-up contaminated property at six state-listed cleanup sites in the Waterfront District .
  • The Port is working with the City to promote a range of sustainable strategies including the development of district specific utilities and the salvage and reuse of industrial icons from the former Georgia Pacific pulp and paper mill.
  • The Port is designing new stormwater infrastructure for the Shipping Terminal and Marine Trades Area to support working waterfront operations, to protect the environment and to recruit job-creating industrial users.
  • The Port is working with Western Washington University and potential private investors to develop a strategy for facilities and programming which support Western's future expansion to the Waterfront District.