CDE: National Development Council
Developer: Makah Indian Tribe
Owner: Makah Indian Tribe
Location: Neah Bay, Wash.
The winners of the 2014 Non-Metro QLICI of the Year Award is National Development Council for its investment in Makah Dock in Neah Bay, Wash. Makah Dock is a redevelopment of the fishing pier in the Neah Bay community, which is used by the Makah Tribe and non-tribal residents for commercial fishing operations. The structural integrity of the pier was severely damaged after a crane accident in August 2013. Ann Vogt, managing director of the National Development Council HEDC New Markets Inc., said the damage stopped all dock activity, which crippled high revenue generating resources for the Makah Tribe.
Equity raised by new markets tax credit (NMTCs) enabled the Makah Tribe to completely demolish the existing dock, replacing it with a concrete and steel dock that is 1,054-square-feet larger than the previous structure. The larger dock space is designed to improve safety and working conditions, including allowing two-way traffic and emergency vehicle access. The redevelopment of the pier also includes new cranes for loading and offloading fish and the construction of an ice house and warehouse building to support dock operations and provide storage.
Vogt says Makah Dock has had a positive effect on the local community, including helping minority-owned businesses and preserving numerous full-time jobs. The new dock will provide facilities for more than 90 small businesses, a majority of which are minority-owned, as well as preserve more than 400 full-time jobs. Vogt says that additional economic benefits include the generation of approximately $7 million in annual revenue for the tribe from the fish caught and off-loaded at the facility, which is a $600,000 increase from the previous year.
Vogt says the dwindling availability of federal and state funds, as well as the unsuccessful attempts to receive funding from the Federal Transportation Agency under the TIGER Grant Program led to a significant gap in financing for the project. In 2013, the Makah Tribe received $7.8 million in equity from the National Development Council and $13.7 million in funds from Wells Fargo.
The Makah Dock has been in full operation since April 2014, and has set the stage for dock expansion in a second phase project. This expansion will provide more storage and a mooring space for commercial vessels.