BP pays $29M for Trillium land

Ready for Development.  BP has plans on the books to build a refinery to process sulfurous Alberta tar sand oil.  Stay tuned.

Dec, 21, 2007
ECONOMY

1,100 acres near refinery to be open space for now

DAVE GALLAGHER

BP Cherry Point has made a major property purchase, creating a significant buffer around its refinery west of Ferndale.

The company bought about 1,100 acres of land from Trillium Corp. for $29.7 million, according to documents filed at the Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office Thursday afternoon. The property is on the west side of BP Cherry Point, south of Grandview Road and extends to the coastline.

It is the largest property sale in terms of dollars in Whatcom County this year, according to Steve Oliver, chief deputy at the Treasurer’s Office. The previous high was the purchase of the Meridian Village property in Bellingham, which sold for $20.8 million earlier this year.

Bellingham-based Trillium had planned to develop the area, called Alden Reach, as a mixeduse community about half the size of Blaine. The plan, announced in September of 2006, would have included light industrial, commercial and residential uses.

That plan was nixed, however, when the Whatcom County Council rejected a request to change the zoning of the area in March. BP had opposed the idea of having so many potential residential homes and other nonindustrial development that close to the refinery.

Bill Kidd, director of external affairs at BP, said the plan for the short term is to leave the property as it is.

“We’re just glad we’ll be able to take this potential conflict off the table,” Kidd said. “We were very concerned about the possibility of the property being developed for residential use. Long term, this property could be used for industrial development, but for now it will serve as a nice open-space buffer.”

Kidd said the property is the last major piece around the refinery that BP officials were concerned about. The company owns several properties around the area, including near Terrell Creek, an area the company has left as open space.

Jonathan Syre, president and CEO of Trillium, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reach Dave Gallagher at 715- 2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com.

~ by fredfelleman on December 21, 2007.

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