Speaking of ships … about that empty Port of Seattle space north of the bridge

August 3, 2014 at 10:19 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Apparently the Port of Seattle‘s now-empty stretch Terminal 5 north of the west end of the high bridge is really starting to draw notice; though we reported on the reason almost two weeks ago, we’ve received a flurry of inquiries about it this weekend. So in case you missed the story too: Terminal 5 is empty because it’s closed. Its last ship arrived on July 23rd – here’s the story we published that day. Port commissioners have approved some funding to plan a modernization project, but completing it will require nine-figure spending and they haven’t started to discuss where that might come from. Meantime, the line that used T-5 is now sailing to and from Tacoma, while other cargo operations that were using it have been consolidated where the port had room.


  1. So one wonders, why does the link to the Port’s website advertise: “Terminal 5 has on-dock rail to move your cargo quickly and efficiently”?

    Comment by Kathy — 10:29 pm August 3, 2014 #

  2. You would think they would have updated it by now…

    Comment by WSB — 10:33 pm August 3, 2014 #

  3. Where the money will come from is a no-brainer – the property tax.

    Comment by Mike — 11:10 pm August 3, 2014 #

  4. Well, on-dock rail is there, whether the terminal is open or closed, and it’s an asset for potential customers out there, if there are any…… OTOH, every time I pass that empty piece of prime property these days, I imagine legions of developers salivating.

    Comment by dis — 11:12 pm August 3, 2014 #

  5. hey…here’s an idea…a drive-in theater ;-)

    Comment by JanS — 12:35 am August 4, 2014 #

  6. Or park-n-ride, or Water Taxi parking, although I don’t know if it has an entrance away from the W. Marginal gate…

    Comment by WSB — 1:04 am August 4, 2014 #

  7. I like JanS’s idea. Play movies, and whenever we float on by, whether it be Olympians on kayaks, kids with water wings, elders in floaties, or people waiting on the ferry; at least West Seattle would glimmer. :)

    Comment by Robert — 1:19 am August 4, 2014 #

  8. I agree with WSB – it should be a park and ride for both the Water Taxi and the bus

    Comment by David — 5:31 am August 4, 2014 #

  9. In other words, the Port Authority forced another large shipping company out of Seattle.

    Comment by Bill Wald — 8:18 am August 4, 2014 #

  10. “Where the money will come from is a no-brainer – the property tax.”– Mike

    Actually I would expect the Port to issue bonds to cover this kind of project …. based on anticipated revenues over 20 or 30 years. But to issue those bonds and commit to this project the Port first needs one or two strong long-term customers.

    Comment by onion — 8:49 am August 4, 2014 #

  11. With the new locks at the Panama Canal due to be in operation next year, T5 may be idle for a long time. New terminal for WSF and light rail connection to downtown, SeaTac?

    Comment by Don — 11:47 am August 4, 2014 #

  12. Onion – they may well issue bonds. But the property tax is a major revenue for port operations, including debt service on borrowing. Sea-Tac recovers it’s cost, I believe. Your port property tax goes to marine ops, including T-5.

    Comment by Mike — 4:13 pm August 4, 2014 #

  13. Let them upgrade it to attract bigger ships. The canal is behind schedule more like 2019 completion and the new ships being built now won’t fit through the new “expanded” canal anyway. Seattle will need as many high paying jobs as possible to keep the fast food joints open after the 60% wage increase.

    Comment by ben — 5:13 pm August 4, 2014 #

  14. Do I get that 2.5% of real estate tax, the port collects from home owners here, refunded?

    Comment by Mike — 8:53 pm August 4, 2014 #

  15. Let’s make it tribal land (city council tribe) and build a casino and hotel all proceeds go to the city of Seattle and they can reduce our property taxes, gas taxes, real estate taxes, etc.

    Comment by trevor — 10:08 pm August 4, 2014 #

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