The Port of Brookings Harbor board of commissioners closed the window on new proposals for its vacant Green Building Thursday evening at a special meeting.
Commissioners did however offer a 30 day extension to negotiate terms with three entities submitting proposals.
The Green Building — or the Grey Ghost as it is sometimes called — has been sitting unused at the port for more than 15 years while the port has paid and paid on loans taken out to fund the unfinished project.
Originally, the building was to serve as another piece in the port’s commercial hub, another building like those present at the port today but on a grander scale –– two stories, skylights and fine dining.
However, according to a report by Eagle Two Development commissioned by the port in 2011, the original building permit was designated only for the shell and did not include any inside tenant improvements. Once the shell was enclosed and framed, construction stopped, and the building has sat empty since.
The port had recently advertised for proposals for a detailed marketing plan or a plan for marketing and development subject to a Jan. 22 deadline.
The three proposals discussed Thursday were responses to the port’s advertisement, and if none of them are accepted or if work fails to progress for a year after acceptance, the board will move to demolish the building.
Harbor Rising, comprised of Robb Crocker, Tony Ellsworth and Noah Bruce, offered to lease the property for $1 for three years with the option to buy the property for $100,000 during the lease term. Harbor Rising proposed investing a minimum of $750,000 over the three-year lease.
Harbor Rising proposed renovating and developing the first floor into retail, fitness and recreation facilities and adding professional offices on the second floor.
Commissioner Ken Range asked Crocker, who attended by phone, if the price he quoted included the building and land.
Crocker said it did.
Range then noted Harbor Rising could purchase the land and building at any point in the lease for $100,000, but the port had asked for bids to purchase the building and lease the land, not purchase both the land and the building.
Port Manager Gary Dehlinger and Range said the port owed roughly $300,000 on the land and was making payments exceeding $2,000 per month, with 12 years of payments remaining.
“We asked for leasing the land,” Range said. “And this proposal does not address that.”
Crocker said, “The numbers don’t look good for leasing.” But he said it was an initial proposal and he would be open to continued negotiations.
Commissioner Richard Heap said the port was not comfortable with selling the land, “but we have time to work through these issues and negotiate the details.”
Todd Cregar, a limited partner with ABC Partners, proposed buying the land and building as-is for $106,130.
Cregar proposed renovating and developing the building into commercial and residential units to be sold condo-style.
“He wants to buy the land too,” Range said. “Total rejection.”
He said the proposals must lease the land and exclude the land from purchase.
The proposal to create residences alarmed Heap who said people would need to sign a disclaimer if they wanted to live in a working port.
“This place comes with smells and noise and night work, bright lights,” he said.
Commissioner Wesley Ferraccioli warned the addition of residences would put a tremendous burden on the port area in terms of traffic, roads, drainage and other infrastructure.
Youwanda Dreger asked for and received a 30-day extension to create a detailed proposal for a “multi-function community activity center with a restaurant and retail capability.”
Dreger said she previously worked in missile design and as a missile controller for Lockheed before a career in facilities development.
She proposed a hi-tech design with moving walls, a moving stage and seating configuration and the possibility of moving display stations to host events such as top-chef competitions.
“This building could be a symbol,” she said. “This could be our phoenix.”
The board voted to instruct Dehlinger to stop accepting new proposals, notify the current bidders that the port was not interested in selling the land but would be open to negotiating on their proposals for 30 days.