May 16, 2022 — The Port of Skagit is undertaking a feasibility study to redevelop the La Conner Marina, to make better use of the property and create more economic opportunities for the marina and community.
The La Conner Marina was constructed in 1970 with the development of the south basin, followed by the completion of the north basin in 1978. The goal was to create a much needed small-boat harbor to serve maritime traffic through the Swinomish Channel and to bring more jobs and economic opportunities to the community. Today, the Port is working with a consulting team, including the Schuster Group, Makers Architecture and PND Engineers to explore future possibilities of the 13 acres of marina property between Sullivan Slough and the marina’s north basin. This property includes a collection of buildings, the Port’s RV Park and storage facility, and the Town of La Conner Public Works building.
Through a series of work sessions with the consultants, several potential uses have been identified, including mixed used development, which could include a residential component, marine services and other commercial uses.
Given that Port districts are mandated by the state legislature to focus on economic development opportunities in their respective communities, it’s generally not the Port’s role to focus on housing. But the Port of Skagit understands that workforce housing is a significant issue impacting employers today, which has led the team to look at and consider mixed use options.
One of the goals for the redevelopment is to identify upland uses that would allow the Port to generate capital funding for the replacement of the marina in-water infrastructure. The Port is also looking for ways to create more public access to the water, to complement the good work the Town has done with the boardwalk as a way of connecting downtown.
The Port of Skagit will be joining the La Conner Town Council and Planning Commission at a public meeting on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00pm at Maple Hall in La Conner to hear from consultants and continue the visioning process for the property. The public is encouraged to attend and provide feedback.
While it’s still early in the process, the Port of Skagit hopes by this September to have a vision for marina redevelopment, financial modeling, and recommendations for zoning changes to bring forward to the Town of La Conner.