Duluth Seaway Port Authority signs resolution to purchase Seaway Building

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority has moved its offices from Rice’s Point into leased space at 2305 West Superior Street in Lincoln Park. That move was always intended to be temporary (a two-year lease) while a new, permanent home was secured. At its June 27 meeting, the port authority board approved a resolution to purchase the Seaway Building at 802 Garfield Avenue. So, in two years, it appears that staff will pack boxes one last time and head back to Rice’s Point.

The search for a suitable, permanent home began months before the announcement was made in April that the port authority would vacate its office building on the Clure Terminal to make way for the expansion of its largest tenant, Altec Industries.

The commercial real estate purchase agreement between the port authority and Duluth Builders Exchange spells out terms and conditions of the Seaway Building sale. A closing date will be set for April 2019, which allows ample time for the current tenants to relocate and building renovations to be completed. Target move-in date would be early 2020.

“We have been warmly welcomed into the Lincoln Park neighborhood,” said Kevin Beardsley, the port authority’s Interim Executive Director. “Our temporary office space there will serve us well for the next couple of years. Yet, we had always planned that the port authority would return to the waterfront, especially since our primary mission is bringing business to the port. The Seaway Building—where it’s located, its history and its very name—provides us the perfect opportunity to be back on Rice’s Point.”

References to the maritime history of the Seaway Building date back to 1979 when Upper Great Lakes Pilots Inc. and Seaway Services Corp. moved in. During the next three decades, additional shipping-related organizations were tenants, including: Upper Lake Pilots Association, Svensson Shipping Agency Inc., Empire Stevedoring Inc., Benson Quinn Co., Guthrie-Hubner Inc., North Central Maritime Corp., North Central Terminal Operators and National Cargo Bureau Inc. Duluth Builders Exchange has owned the building since 1993.

Maritime Editorial