$1 Million Grant Boosts Bayfront Pier B Redevelopment Project

By KBJR News 1

March 30, 2012 Updated Mar 30, 2012 at 6:12 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)---A nearly $1 million grant will help jumpstart the Bayfront Pier B redevelopment project on Duluth's waterfront.

The Duluth Economic Development Authority has been awarded the money to help with demolition and re-development of the old LaFarge cement plant property.

The Bayfront Pier B redevelopment project is expected to bring new life to an old industrial site.

"This will be spectacular not only because of what it will look like when it's done, but what it looks like right now and what it took to get to that point," Duluth Mayor Don Ness said.

The grant will be used to stabilize a crumbling seawall, shore up broken down silos, and build a sanitary sewer system and lift station.

The project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2014 and will include a 135 room hotel, conference center, condominiums, retail shops and a public waterfront area.

"We said at the start of this project, we don't want to add amenities that would compete with the existing tourist industry," Sandy Hoff of the Pier B Investment Group said. "We wanted to add things that will be unique to our waterfront."

The entire project is expected to cost between $32-36 million.

Area lawmakers say the development gives Duluth another edge in its ongoing quest to become a premier tourist destination.

"We are going to have people working and people earning incomes," Senator Roger Reinert, (DFL-Duluth) said. "That's going to have an impact in the community and in the region. When this project is done, the tax revenues are going to benefit the entire state."

The slip restoration portion of the project will begin this summer.

Construction on the foundation infrastructure is expected to begin as early as next fall.

Duluth ranked highest among those who requested grants from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Jennifer Walch
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