The Port of Astoria Commission on Tuesday approved leasing out the Chinook Building to William Orr and Chester Trabucco, who operate the Astoria Riverwalk Inn next door.
Orr and Trabucco’s company, Marina Village LLC, will take over daily operations of the Chinook Building, which includes a seafood market, charter boat company and several office tenants. Upstairs is the meeting space of the Astoria Yacht Club, which occupies part of the 7,500 square feet Marina Village plans to improve into conference space for attracting more guests during winter.
The lease runs one year, with subsequent 10- and 50-year renewal options. Marina Village will pay the Port $6,311 a month, along with taxes, insurance and utilities.
Port Executive Director Jim Knight said the initial term of the Chinook Building lease, ending in October 2018, is meant to coincide with the end of Orr and Trabucco’s current term on the Riverwalk Inn. The pair took over operation of the hotel from Brad Smithart two years ago and envision a Marina Village tourist attraction around the Port’s West Mooring Basin.
Parts of the concept include the hotel, the Chinook Building and the former Seafare restaurant in between. The restaurant, once a popular gathering place that has long been vacant, is run down from past storm damage and likely needs to be demolished.
After the Port Commission signed off on the lease, Trabucco came forward to show pictures of restaurants in Newport Beach and Tiburon, California, that could be models for the former Seafare. “This gives you an idea of what we could do with the riverfront side,” he said.
In other news, the Port Commission approved:
• An intergovernmental agreement to have the Port of Ilwaco, Washington, dredge a portion of the west-end marina this winter. Ilwaco has a smaller dredge that can fit into the marina, which hasn’t been dredged in at least a decade. Sand bars appear at low tide, grounding boats and damaging docks. The Port, which can’t afford to dredge the entire basin at one time, has opted to spread the operation over a few years.
• An increase in annual moorage rates at marinas of $3 per foot per year over the next three years. The current rate is $34 per foot annually for recreational vessels. Boatyard haul out and storage rates were also increased. Port Director of Operations Matt McGrath said the Port’s marina and boatyard rates are far below that of other ports, prevent the agency from taking care of deferred maintenance and are part of the reason the agency loses money on the operations.
• New Port bylaws the agency and its general counsel, Eileen Eakins, have been working on in recent months.
• An updated Port commissioner compensation policy, which would allow travel reimbursement for meetings outside Clatsop County and a $50 stipend for official Port Commission meetings and approved committee assignments.
• Roughly $20,000 above the $75,000 budgeted for repairs to the Port’s dredge. McGrath said the dredge, from the 1970s, had several areas of surprise concern when hauled out at North Tongue Point by WCT Marine.
• Moving forward with the process of developing an updated strategic plan to direct the Port’s endeavors. The Port’s last strategic plan was in 2010. Knight has said the state wants an updated plan every five years.
• Spending more than $700,000 of the $1.1 million left in a Federal Aviation Administration grant for improvements at the Astoria Regional Airport in Warrenton. The Port’s contractors completed work covered under Airport Improvement Project 21. Airport Manager Gary Kobes said the Port has to use the money left on airport improvements or lose it. The Port needs to match $70,000 to receive the grant money, $40,000 of which staff said is budgeted.