Harborside site to be auctioned off

Published on Thu, Feb 21, 2008 by ack Kintner

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Harborside site to be auctioned off

By Jack Kintner

The $7 million four story condo and retail development Harborside Place that was planned for the southwest corner of Peace Portal Drive and H Street has gone into receivership and will be auctioned off at a sheriff’s sale, according to information provided by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

The project was originally proposed by Harborside LLC development company, headed by Rick Osburn. Osburn and his partners were well into the permitting process when they sold the project in July 2006 to San Francisco Windstar development company.

“The cost of the project began getting out of hand in terms of insurance costs and construction costs, which went up dramatically in 2005,” Osburn said, explaining why they sold the project.

Windstar eventually defaulted on their payments to Osburn on New Year’s Eve 2006. But even though his involvement with the project was essentially over and his buyer was having troubles meeting his obligation, Osburn continued to lobby the Blaine city council to approve an ordinance to delay permitting fees for such projects until an occupancy project is awarded.

Osburn eventually sued Windstar last October but the matter was later settled out of court. Two weeks later the bank foreclosed on the developer.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s office says the sale is scheduled for 10 a.m., April 11 at the Whatcom County courthouse in Bellingham. According to the notice, the developer is in default by more than $373,000.

Since the project was never constructed, the sale will be for the 75- by 90-foot parcel, once the location of the Oertel building.