Port of Tacoma, Puyallup Tribe finalize deal for new terminal

At a special Port of Tacoma Commission meeting yesterday, officials representing the Port of Tacoma Commission, SSA Containers Inc., the Puyallup Tribal Council and Marine View Ventures (MVV), the economic development arm of the Puyallup Tribe, signed four key agreements that focus on cooperation and coordination of marine terminal developments on the Blair-Hylebos Peninsula.
The four agreements are:
Purchase and Sale Agreement with the Port and Puyallup Tribe of Indians — The Port and Tribe agree to exchange land to improve the overall layout of the current footprint of future Tribe/SSA terminal and future Port terminal developments. The Port will transfer about 19 acres (7.7 hectares) to the Tribe, and the Tribe will transfer about 12.5 acres (5.1 hectares) to the Port.
Agreement Regarding Widening of the Blair Waterway (Blair Cutback Agreement) — All parties agree to cooperate in the cutback of the Blair Waterway along 3,300 feet (1,006 meters) of Tribal land to a minimum of 850 feet (259 meters) fender-to-fender between terminals. Channel depth will be maintained at -51 feet (-15.5 meters) MLLW (mean lower low water). SSA Containers will undertake and manage the project, and the Port will reimburse a portion of the dredge and disposal cost.
Lease Agreement between the Port and SSA Containers Inc. — SSA will lease from the Port 1,200-feet (366 meters) of berth plus backup area, totaling approximately 23 acres (9.3 hectares) currently under construction on the east side of the Blair Waterway.
Cooperation Agreement between the Port, Tribe, Marine View Ventures and SSA Containers Inc.: — The Port and SSA Containers will cooperate on the following:
Terminal Developments: Mutual support for the other parties’ individual developments;
Intermodal Rail Cooperation: SSA Containers and the Port agree to cooperate on maximizing the efficiency of the intermodal rail system in Tacoma and to increase overall capacity;
Road Infrastructure Cooperation: All parties agree to cooperate to leverage public/private funding for road infrastructure and to negotiate in good faith to reach agreement on individual contributions to road infrastructure improvements;
Future Cooperation: The parties agree to explore as necessary additional opportunities for cooperation. For example, maximizing mutual berth development opportunities, if desired, or future lease and/or land value exchanges as appropriate.
Following Port Commission approval, Port of Tacoma Commission President Dick Marzano, Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman Herman Dillon, SSA Containers President Ed DeNike, MVV Chief Executive Officer Chad Wright and Port of Tacoma Executive Director Timothy J. Farrell signed the historic agreements that will focus on redeveloping industrial lands for marine terminal use along the 2.65-mile (4.3-kilometer), deep-water Blair Waterway.
“This is a big day for Pierce County and all of Western Washington,” said DeNike. “The development of this terminal will stimulate industry and job growth. As a local Washington state company, who has operations around the world, finally concluding a deal to allow us to operate a container terminal in our own back yard is the achievement of a long-term dream. We are pleased to be working with such great organizations as the Puyallup Tribe, Marine View Ventures and the Port of Tacoma. Together, these organizations form a formidable team with drive, determination and the skill sets to make this dream a reality.”
“The Port of Tacoma and Puyallup Tribe of Indians enjoy a long history of economic cooperation dating back to the historic 1988 Puyallup Indian Land Claims Settlement Agreement,” said Marzano. “Today’s agreement assures greater cargo capacity for our region, which will create thousands of construction jobs and permanent, family-wage jobs when the terminals open. This agreement also creates a unique opportunity to complete environmental cleanups of old industrial sites.”