City, Port authorize agreement to begin design concepts for new event venue

March 28, 2024 | News

MARCH 28, 2024

CITY, PORT AUTHORIZE AGREEMENT TO BEGIN DESIGN CONCEPTS FOR NEW EVENT VENUE

The City of Anacortes and Port of Anacortes signed an Interlocal Agreement on Monday, March 25, to develop design concepts and cost estimates for a new public event venue in Anacortes, following a joint public meeting between the City Council the Port’s Board of Commissioners.

The interlocal agreement lays out the roles of the City and Port, the purpose and general location of the proposed venue, the cost sharing agreement, and other elements of this first phase of work. Initial estimates for the first phase total about $94,000, and per the agreement, the City and Port will split these costs 50/50. The City and Port expect to have a more developed concept to share with the community in late spring 2024.

“We appreciate the ongoing coordination with the City for this event center, and we look forward to taking tangible next steps to determine its feasibility,” said Port of Anacortes Commission President Jon Ronngren. “Our goal is to ensure that this new event center delivers both economic and community benefits to our area and the wider region.”

“This agreement marks an important step forward for the City and Port. We are excited to continue working with the Port to explore concepts for an event center that honors our maritime heritage and strengthens our community,” said City of Anacortes Mayor Matt Miller.

The City and Port aim to provide a permanent event venue for large tourist-oriented and community-based events that reflect Anacortes’ distinct characteristics and can host events long into the future. The site being considered is within the Port’s planned Cap Sante Marina West Basin redevelopment, on the corner of Ninth Street and R Avenue.

During this initial phase, the Port will work with a consultant team to perform the conceptual design work for the event venue. The City and Port will coordinate to update and refine the design concepts and anticipate sharing this refined concept with the community. Additionally, the City and Port will work to determine cost estimates for the construction of this event venue.

In late summer 2024, the City and Port expect to execute another interlocal agreement to support coordination for financing, construction, operation, and management of the event venue. The City and Port propose to use a variety of funding sources for construction, including city lodging tax revenue. They also plan to seek grants and request funding from the state and federal legislatures.

To learn more about and participate in this process, community members are invited to attend Port Commission and City Council meetings to hear updates and share public comments. Community members may also provide comments via mail or email to the City and Port.

Background

 The Port of Anacortes has been discussing a future event venue for Anacortes since 2016. In 2021, the Port announced the closure of the Transit Shed as an event venue and its permanent return to maritime industrial use. The Transit Shed was closed to events on Dec. 31, 2023, after a two-and-a-half-year sunset period.

The City and Port are collaborating to address this significant community issue and strive to develop a solution that fulfills the demand for event space while bolstering our local economy and enhancing the vibrancy of life within our community.