Skagit tribe buys Dakota Fisheries building

Published on Wed, Jan 6, 2010 by Tara Nelson

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The former Dakota Fisheries plant on Marine Drive has been purchased by the Upper Skagit Indian tribe, which has plans to turn it into a fish purchasing site.

Lydia Bennett, director of real estate for the Port of Bellingham, said the tribe submitted a proposal to renovate and purchase the 8,000 square foot building at 285 Marine Drive for $145,000 last November. According to the proposal, tribal officials said they have plans to make capital improvements to the dock and the building. The building’s proximity to the border allows for a strategic point of access to Fraser River salmon and other locally-caught seafood. Fish purchased at the Blaine location would be shipped to a new processing plant in La Conner.

Officials with the Upper Skagit could not be reached for comment.

The building had been owned by Westman Port Service of Blaine but the land is leased from the Port of Bellingham at 9 percent of the value of the land per year – about $8 per square foot.