Almost a year after longtime Marine View Drive marina Ole & Charlie’s called it quits, the landscape around the marina is evolving to a new purpose.
The land side of the former Ole & Charlie’s Marina as 4224 Marine View Drive has been cleaned up by its owner, the Port of Tacoma, and the marina’s docks now stand vacant.
The port is due to transfer its piece of the former marina to the Puyallup Tribe later this month in a long-pending land swap. The tribe had acquired half the former marina site in the 1988 Puyallup Land Claims Settlement, and the port had bought the other half for $7.2 million.
The port will receive land closer to the heart of its shipping activities on the Blair Waterway in exchange for its part of the Ole & Charlie’s site.
Meanwhile, on the north side of the former boat haven, the tribe is restoring an intertidal wetland on a site that until recently was choked with non-native plants and debris.
That site and another just north of the Hylebos Bridge on East 11th Street are being rehabilitated under a tribal contract.
Wade Perrow Construction Co. has already cleaned up and regraded the wetland site adjacent to the former marina. Coconut fiber mats have been staked to the gently sloping beach land, and native plants are being planted in the 1-acre tidal lagoon.
That lagoon fills with water at high tide and drains of water when the tide goes out.
Large logs and tree stumps have already been secured to the site to provide habitat for fish and other creatures, said Glenn Chouinard, project manager for Shen Consulting of Seattle.
Much of the area where the new plants are being planted is populated by rows of upright reinforcing bar arranged in a grid pattern. The upper end of those short rebar posts are topped with fluorescent green high visibility plastic caps.
After the planting is done, said Chouinard, the gridwork of posts will be connected with string to form what he called a “goose exclusion system.”
The posts and string make it impossible for geese to land in the restored area and pluck the newly planted vegetation from the ground.
Once the plants are well established, the posts will be removed. In addition to creating an environment where juvenile salmon and other creatures can hide and grow, the restored wetland will serve as a launch point for tribal members to put their watercraft into the bay.
As for the former marina itself, said Kelly Croman, general counsel for the tribe’s Marine View Ventures, the tribe’s business unit, its fate is yet undecided.
The tribe owns and Marine View Ventures operates the adjacent Chinook Landing Marina.
The Ole & Charlie’s property would require fairly extensive upgrading if the tribe wants to reopen it. Aging electrical wiring at the marina was one issue that helped force its closure last year.
Ole & Charlie’s told tenants then that it had been unable to reach agreement with the tribe and the port on a new lease agreement after their prior lease ended in January of 2011. The marina was leasing on a month-to-month basis until it decided to close after 36 years.