Kalakala May Move Again

091103.kalakala.jpgJay Barrett/KMXT

The retired Washington State Ferry Kalakala, which spent nearly 30-years on the beach in Kodiak as a cannery, may be moving again.

The 276-foot streamliner left Kodiak more than 10 years ago, but has bounced around Puget Sound and still has not found a permanent home in Washington State.

Now owner Steve Rodrigues wants to make it the centerpiece for a new waterfront development in Port Angeles, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

He told the Peninsula Daily News that the development would include a marina, stores, condos, apartments, and a tourist "welcome center." The Kalakala would be remodeled into a floating restaurant and special-events center. It’s a plan similar to one he proposed for the ship in Seattle and Tacoma, where the Kalakala has been anchored for five years.

The city of Port Angeles appears receptive to the plan, but the city manager there says the conversations have been very general in nature. The plan Rodrigues has is to buy 400-feet of shoreline frontage and an acre of uplands. He’s hoping for a grant from the National Parks Service in the amount of 700,000 dollars, but that’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the 11-million-dollar price tag for renovations, plus another 2-million for the waterfront improvements.

After plying the waters of Puget Sound as a ferry from 1935 to 1967, it processed crab out of Dutch Harbor before being relocated on the beach of Gibson Cove in Kodiak. Peter Bevis bought the derelict ship from the city of Kodiak and moved it to Seattle in 1998. Rodrigues, the current owner, bought the Kalakala at auction in 2003. The art deco ship was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2006.

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