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Originally published November 29, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Page modified November 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM

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NOAA site on Lake Union on the market

The site, with 915 feet of waterfront and three piers, could provide moorage and other services for fishing vessels or luxury yachts. No price tag published.

Seattle Times business reporter

The owner of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Operations Center on Lake Union has put the soon-to-be-vacated property up for sale, marketing it as "a great future development opportunity."

NOAA's lease expires in June, and the federal agency is moving its research fleet to Newport, Ore., after nearly 50 years at the Lake Union site.

Biotech and office buildings are among the development possibilities, said Jason Rosauer of GVA Kidder Mathews, one of the brokers marketing the property. "A Carillon Point or an Elliott Bay Marina would be an option," he added, referring to waterfront developments in Kirkland and Seattle, respectively.

Or the site, with 915 feet of waterfront and three piers, could provide moorage and other services for fishing vessels or luxury yachts, Rosauer added: "We want to let the market decide its best use."

The market also will decide what it's worth, he said: There's no published asking price.

The 8-acre property, at 1801 Fairview Ave. E., has been owned since the 1920s by a corporation controlled by several families. The corporation's manager could not be reached for comment Monday.

NOAA has leased the site since 1963. The agency moored four oceangoing research ships there until fire damaged the piers in 2006. The facility also has serviced six NOAA ships based in Alaska, California and Hawaii.

The property includes a two-story office/lab building and a 12,000-square-foot warehouse.

NOAA decided last year to move its research fleet to Oregon, in part because governments there offered generous subsidies. Seattle-area political leaders tried to get the decision reversed, but Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who oversees NOAA, said in August that it was too late.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

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