The Port and All American Marine have reached an agreement to relocate the boat-builder from Fairhaven to a Port-owned marine trades area on Bellingham’s central waterfront which will allow the company to expand and hire additional employees. The Fairhaven property to be vacated is set to be taken over by another major waterfront employer, Fairhaven Shipyard.
“This is great news for our working waterfront” said Port Commission President Dan Robbins. “All American Marine and Fairhaven Shipyard provide over 150 family-wage jobs to our local community. Both companies are doing well and need additional space to expand operations, and this agreement allows that to happen.”
Under the terms of the deal, the Port will build All American Marine a new 39,000 square foot manufacturing facility and two additional buildings on Hilton Avenue. The cost of this facility will be repaid through a new 25-year lease with the Port.
“There continues to be strong market demand for our cutting-edge catamaran design because of proven advantages in fuel efficiency and vessel stability” said Matt Mullett, President and CEO of All American Marine. “We need a larger manufacturing facility and a larger workforce to meet customer requests for bigger vessels.”
All American Marine plans to hire an additional 27 employees after the relocation is complete.
The Port received funding support through Whatcom County’s Economic Development Investment Program, a revolving loan and grant program designed to encourage the creation or retention of private sector jobs, to help pay for the relocation costs.
“Whatcom County’s Economic Development Investment Program was critical to making this deal work” said Port Executive Director Rob Fix. “Whatcom County was in real danger of losing an important waterfront employer due to space limitations at the Fairhaven site. With funding support through the Economic Development Investment Program, we are going to be able to make the infrastructure investments necessary to retain important working waterfront employers and position the marine trades sector for growth over the next 25 years.”
Marine trades industries have a vital role in providing family-wage jobs and boosting the local economy. According to an economic impact study of Port operations, marine trades tenant activity in Whatcom County supports over 2,600 direct jobs, $122 million in direct income and provides over $18 million in taxes.
All American Marine specializes in the construction of custom tailored aluminum boats and has become a leading builder of high speed passenger catamarans, excursion boats, and research vessels. All American Marine is the exclusive builder for Aukland, New Zealand based Teknicraft Design Ltd. catamarans in North America.