Lakebay Marina Negotiations Spin Heads

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Lakebay Marina owner Mark Scott, in chronic default on his aquatics lease agreement with Washington State Department of Natural Resources, was notified in writing Oct. 20 the state will not issue a new lease with Scott. The tenant must remove all improvements and peaceably surrender the property to DNR by Sept. 7, 2021.

Once hopeful to acquire the historic but troubled Lakebay Marina & Resort, the nonprofit Recreational Boaters Association of Washington Marine Park Conservancy was unable to raise sufficient funds to close a $1.24 million purchase to meet the Sept. 30 closing date.

The conservancy board offered Scott a $25,000 increase in the sale price plus an additional deposit of $25,000 in earnest money in exchange for a one-year extension of the closing date.

Scott countered with a price increase to $3.135 million and an offer to extend closing four years and lease the marina to them with monthly payments. Unwilling to accept the steep price jump, RBAW was forced to let the contract expire Sept. 30.

RBAW had been working with the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office, the DNR and Washington State Parks on a grant funding strategy that conservancy Board President Bob Wise said “would have put us in excellent position to finance the purchase within the requested year extension. But not at more than double the original price.”

Pierce County Council Member Derek Young confirmed that the chance to obtain a floating infrastructure grant with the state looked promising to reach the original price.

The Pierce County Council committed $250,000 to help fund the acquisition and lawmakers from the 26th Legislative District secured an additional $100,000 allocation from the 2020 Supplemental Capital Budget.

“COVID obviously put a crimp in their fundraising efforts but RBAW was feeling really good about the prospect of getting that grant,” Young said. “They just needed additional time.

“The money ($250,000) is still appropriated in our biennial budget, and I’m hoping that when the reality sets in that this is the best-case scenario for everyone, that Mr. Scott would return to the table,” Young said. “I still hold out hope that something happens, but it’s hard to say.”

Owner Mark Scott declined to comment to KP News.