Former Kimberly-Clark Site Back To Creating Hundreds Of Jobs

December 3, 2022

Everett Economy

Dignitaries cut the ribbon at the new terminal on Thursday. Photo credit: Port of Everett

In April 2012, the Kimberly-Clark plant closed on the Everett waterfront. Since then, the majority of jobs at the site have been in cleaning up the property. Soon hundreds of jobs will be created as the property comes back to life at the newest Cargo Terminal on the west coast. Here’s the story from the Port of Everett.

The Port of Everett made history Thursday, officially opening its new Norton Terminal – the first all new cargo terminal to open on the U.S. West Coast in more than a decade.

The $40 million maritime infrastructure investment introduces 40 acres of new upland cargo capacity to the national freight network to further enhance movement of commerce throughout the global supply chain.

It also nearly doubles the Port of Everett Seaport’s cargo handling footprint, fully realizing the Port’s recent $57 million investment in its South Terminal Modernization that added another full-service berth in Everett in 2021 to support larger ships and heavier cargo.

“With most trade-compatible properties along our nation’s waterways already spoken for, it’s extremely rare to see an all-new cargo facility come online and add much-needed capacity to a strained logistics chain – which we have all had a front row seat to witness over the past year,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said.

“The new Norton Terminal, combined with our upgraded South Terminal, are game changers for our working waterfront and region, allowing us to do our part to keep freight moving efficiently, restore thousands of meaningful family-wage jobs to this site, and support a thriving economy.”

Completion of Norton Terminal caps off the Port’s 5-year, $150 million Mills to Maritime initiative that set out to transform a former contaminated mill site into a new sustainable maritime hub. The two projects will add more than 1,000 jobs to the waterfront and generate $14.5 million annually in state and local taxes.

The Norton Terminal project, conducted in partnership with the Washington State Department of Ecology, integrated the property’s cleanup requirements with redevelopment, completing the final physical cleanup of the uplands at a site that supported nearly 90 years of mill operations.

It was funded in part by a $17.75 million federal BUILD grant and $9.15 million in Washington State Department of Ecology MTCA grants.

The historic occasion was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 1, alongside the Port’s many project partners. Local, state and federal leaders shared remarks, including Sen. Patty MurrayRep. Rick Larsen, Rep. Emily Wicks, Port and City leadership, the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Project Accomplishments

Realizes strategic acquisition of a former vacant mill site for maritime use at the working waterfront; situated at the heart of Everett’s deep-water maritime complex, between two federally secured facilities – the Port of Everett Seaport and Naval Station Everett

Achieves environmental stewardship by completing final upland cleanup of legacy contamination at the site, work included:
Removal of more than 250,000 tons of contaminated material and rubble (about 14K dump truck loads)
Backfilling the site with approximately 14K dump truck loads of clean river sands from the Snohomish River
Pre-loading the site with 50,000 cubic yards of clean crushed material to compact the site, followed by grading the material to prepare for paving
Installation of a low permeability 9-inch-thick environmental pavement cap over a majority of the site to provide permanent environmental controls, which doubles as the cargo terminal
Installation of a state-of-the-art stormwater treatment system to protect the Puget Sound into the future – the first treatment system in the site’s history

Enhances the movement of commerce by providing additional cargo laydown capacity

Better positions Everett’s seaport facilities to aid in our regional economic recovery efforts, as well as cargo diversification

Provided necessary infrastructure for the Port of Everett Seaport to receive Strategic Seaport Designation from the U.S. Maritime Administration to support our armed forces – one of only 18 seaports nationwide

Restores family-wage jobs to the site and supports the 40,000 jobs already supported by seaport options

And, an added bonus, via the Port’s voluntary 2% for public access policy, this project helped pay to dredge the public boat launch to ensure essential water access at the largest public boat launch in Washington state
Economic Benefits

The new Norton Terminal and South Terminal modernization projects combined, create major economic benefit, generating:

More than 1,050 direct jobs; 2,300 in total, including indirect and induced
$180 million in personal income
$46 million in local purchases
$14.5 million in state and local taxes
$46.5 million in federal taxes
The work also created benefit during construction, generating:

1,950 temporary construction jobs
$64 million in personal income
$6 million in state and local taxes
$20 million in federal taxes

Norton Terminal Features

40-acre paved, lit and secure cargo yard
Preserves the adaptive reuse of an existing 360,000 square foot warehouse
Power conduits to support future electric tugs
Provides the infrastructure to support short-sea shipping
Washdown area
Port Leadership Reaction

“This site has not been in operation for over a decade, but with the Port’s determination, that changes now with the opening of the Norton Terminal. This terminal will restore jobs, support commerce, keep our region competitive, and provide an immediate economic boost to the City of Everett, Snohomish County, the neighboring Cascade Industrial Center in the cities of Arlington and Marysville, and the greater Puget Sound region. It also cleans up a big piece of the waterfront, which is a top priority to the Port.”
– Port of Everett Commission President David Simpson

“With the opening of Norton Terminal and our modernized South Terminal, I’m confident there is no project cargo anywhere that we are not able to say, ‘We can handle it.’ These investments put Everett on the map and opens doors to new cargo opportunities. There is no stopping the success of Everett’s working waterfront.”
– Port of Everett Commission Vice President Glen Bachman

“The Port has been around for more than a century, and we have demonstrated time and time again our proven track record of putting former contaminated mill sites back into productive use to support trade and bring jobs to the waterfront. As a former longshoreman myself, this is a big win for maritime jobs, especially the skilled labor force we have here that is dedicated to keeping the supply chain moving – ILWU Locals 32, 52 and 98.”
– Port of Everett Commission Secretary Tom Stiger

Local, State & Federal Partner Reaction

“Here in Washington state, our waterways are a cornerstone of our economy, our communities, and our way of life. Our ports create jobs, improve supply chain efficiency, and help move our state’s world-class products and goods out to the rest of the world. The Norton Terminal is going to be a key part of that and serve as a major driver of jobs and economic activity in Everett and Snohomish County.”
– Senator Patty Murray, United States Senate

“In the Pacific Northwest and across the country, you cannot have a big-league economy with little league maritime infrastructure. The opening of the Norton Terminal is great news for the hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs that depend on the Port of Everett to connect local goods and services with global markets.”
– Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a Senior Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

“The Norton Terminal Project is an impressive example of partnering to make a community thrive. Faced with an economy that could have easily stagnated and declined during such a tumultuous time in our history, the Port of Everett, instead, made opportunity and built resources out of environmental stewardship and a commitment to people and place. It is an honor to play a small role in securing the critical state support that helped deliver this project and essential jobs for our region in just two short years.”
– Rep. Emily Wicks, 38th Legislative District, Washington State

“The new Norton Terminal is exactly the kind of forward thinking and strategic investment that will be critical to the recovery and growth of our local economy. Thank you to the Port of Everett for your vision and leadership.”
– Mayor Cassie Franklin, City of Everett

“The Norton Terminal at the Port of Everett is important for businesses, workers, and our entire region. It isn’t often that we get to celebrate not only the completion of a significant new part of our economic infrastructure but also the clean-up of the site. For generations, people have worked on the Everett waterfront at family-wage jobs. The mills have made way for new, diverse industries that will provide for thousands of families for many generations to come. The Norton Terminal will be another jewel on Puget Sound’s waterfront.”
– Executive Dave Somers, Snohomish County

“The U.S. DOT Maritime Administration congratulates the Port of Everett on the completion of Norton Terminal. We’re proud to administer Federal investments that support our Nation’s ports and waterways. This Mills to Maritime Project is a prime example of these investments strengthening our infrastructure, economy, and maritime industry.”
– Catherine Simons, Gateway Director, Pacific Northwest & Alaska
U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD)

“We are pleased to help celebrate this important milestone. This is yet another great example of our fruitful partnership with the Port of Everett to clean up the environment and put once-contaminated properties back to productive use.”
– Barry Rogowski, Program Manager, Washington State Department of Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program

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