Own a historic Tacoma shipyard for $8 million

Both yacht builders and land developers have already expressed interest in acquiring a 90-year-old Tacoma shipyard that was foreclosed this summer.

Arvin Vander Veen, a broker with the commercial real estate firm Colliers International, said the shipyard’s new owner, Alaskan Leader Fisheries, has seen several potential buyers looking at the shuttered shipyard on Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway in the three weeks since the property was put on the market.

The 6.8-acre property that includes several boat sheds, two shipbuilding ways, an office building and several storage buildings is on the market for $7.95 million.

The complex could be used for the purpose for which it was created, building vessels, or repurposed as a site for commercial and residential buildings.

The shipyard is on the east side of the rapidly gentrifying Thea Foss Waterway at South 15th Street. Most of the new development on the waterway adjacent to downtown Tacoma has been on the west side along Dock Street. There several apartment and condominium structures, the Museum of Glass and several parks have been built on what formerly was industrial land. One parcel on the waterway’s west side is planned to become the site of two hotels and an office building.

Vander Veen said the shipyard site, unlike some former industrial sites, is relatively free of contaminants that could raise the cost of development on the site.

Martinac ran into financial trouble more than a year ago when it couldn’t find new work to help it generate cash to pay off a $6 million loan Alaska Leader had granted the shipyard to finish a long-line fishing boat the shipyard was building for the fishing company.

J.M. Martinac had built boats ranging from giant tuna clippers to tugs for decades in Tacoma.

In recent years, the company has seen periods without contracts followed by several years of building activity. The fishing vessel, the Northern Leader — the largest built in the Pacific Northwest in decades — was equipped with cutting-edge fishing systems, electronics and engines. It left the yard a year ago. The boat reportedly is now fishing in Alaskan waters.

A desperate effort failed to land new contracts for the shipyard, whose shaky financial condition deterred tug companies and other potential customers from committing to new construction deals