INFORMAL PROPOSAL FOR POINT HUDSON WITHDRAWN
On Monday April 30, 2018, a letter from the Northwest Maritime Center (Center) was hand-delivered to the Port Offices for each Port Commissioner. The letter, signed by the Maritime Center’s Board President, withdrew their informal proposal for a 50-year lease for the Port’s Point Hudson property.
The Port Commission was surprised to hear of the withdrawal as no prior communication had suggested any such action.
Consistent with the Commission’s direction, Port staff was in the process of preparing a formal response to the Center’s informal proposal. This response was to take the form of a “term sheet,” and sought to create a partnership that would serve the community’s use of Point Hudson, while meeting the very basic financial requirements of the property. It included a reduction in the duration of the lease to a period more suitable for publicly-owned property.
Below is a brief overview of the Port’s commitment to due diligence, a timeline of actions since the informal proposal was received, and concerns with the offer.
PORT’S CONCERNS WITH THE INFORMAL OFFER
- The offer did not cover the loan payments for the marina, renovated buildings, or jetty replacement.
- A 50-year lease to a private non-profit was unacceptable to the Port Commission and the Port’s commitment to safeguard public access to the water.
- The Center’s informal proposal lacked basic elements typically found in an offer to lease.
- Friday, January 26 – The Center delivers informal proposal.
- Wednesday, January 31 – Port Commission votes 2-1 for independent financial analysis.
- Thursday, February 22 – Consultant selection to conduct independent financial analysis (ECONorthwest).
- Friday, March 2 – Contract awarded for independent financial analysis.
- Monday, March 19 – Financial analysis completed.
- Wednesday, March 28 – Commission discusses topics related to acceptable minimum price – first discussion.
- Wednesday, April 11 – Commission discusses topics related to acceptable minimum price second discussion with public comment; and Commissioners direct staff to a prepare term-sheet in response to the Center’s informal proposal.
- Thursday, April 19 – Port staff meets with the Center’s staff to discuss forthcoming term sheet.
- Wednesday, April 25 – Commission provides additional direction on minimum acceptable price.
- Monday, April 30 – Center withdraws informal proposal.
THE PORT’S COMMITMENT TO DUE DILIGENCE
As with other Port-managed public properties throughout Jefferson County, the Port is the steward to this iconic public property and obligated to carefully consider and thoroughly evaluate any proposed changes to its management. Any public process necessarily takes time and must consider the interests of all county residents. The Port has dedicated hundreds of hours to working with the Center on a possible partnership and has expended more than $15,000 on financial and property analyses.
The Port is deeply grateful to the Center for the tremendous effort, creative thinking, and spirit of community cooperation extended throughout this process. The Port remains committed to stewarding Point Hudson for the benefit of present and future generations. In doing so, we look forward to exploring future opportunities to collaborate with the Center and other community partners to advance the public interest.