Port Angeles’ Feiro Marine Life Center seeking new site for expansion after Oak Street property plans fall through

PORT ANGELES — The Feiro Marine Life Center is pressing forward with expansion plans despite an Alaska company’s recent decision to abandon efforts to build a marine science center-conference center on waterfront property at the corner of Front and Oak streets.

“Feiro’s expansion plans are not particularly tied to one particular location,” Executive Director Melissa Williams said this week.

“We would be limited to siting a facility where we have seawater intake.”

Neeser Construction Inc. of Anchorage, Alaska, recently pulled out of an agreement to purchase the long-dormant parcel from Tod McClaskey of Camas, owner of Olympic Lodge in Port Angeles.

Relisted for sale

The parcel, known as the Oak Street property, was relisted for sale Friday for $2 million.

Project Administrator Gary Donnelly said city officials’ delay in committing to lease about 10,000 square feet of conference space in the building was behind the pullout.

Feiro, located in cramped quarters at City Pier a few blocks east of the Oak Street property, had reached an agreement but not finalized negotiations with Neeser to lease 2,100 square feet for a learning lab and administrative offices in the first of two buildings Neeser was planning to construct, Williams said.

Williams said Feiro is still looking for learning lab and office space as the first stage of a two-stage expansion project.

There is no room for a learning lab at the present facility, Williams said.

The second stage would consist of a new aquarium facility.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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