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Maritime

Dockbuilder Plans To Move, Grow In Castle Hayne

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Feb 24, 2020

Bellingham, Washington-based Bellingham Marine Industries has plans to relocate in Castle Hayne to expand its local dock manufacturing operation.

A public meeting will be held Monday on the company's plans, which would require a rezoning and special use permit request for the proposed site of Bellingham Marine's relocation.

The company is looking to move to 4809 Las Tortugas Drive, near its current manufacturing site at 5613 Barbados Blvd. in Castle Hayne.

“We want to add manufacturing of concrete docks to our North Carolina location,” Roxie Comstock, manager of business enhancement at Bellingham Marine, said Monday of the company's plans.

The company now manufactures timber floating docks at the Castle Hayne site.

Bellingham Marine is seeking to rezone a portion of the Las Tortugas Drive property and request a special use permit for manufacturing cement and concrete floating dock systems. The site of the proposal is about 15 acres, according to a community meeting notice

Should the company gain approvals, Bellingham Marine plans to manufacture both timber and concrete floating docks at the new site, said Ed Heaton, general manager of Bellingham Marine's Northeast division.

The company has four concrete floating dock manufacturing facilities across the nation, he said.

It plans to relocate one of its concrete floating dock building operations from Pennsylvania, as well as its Castle Hayne timber operation, to the newly proposed site on Las Tortugas Drive, he said.

"We would like to develop a specialty free-cast concrete facility for manufacturing modules in a warehouse," he said, adding that the company is looking to build somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet of space to house its office, warehouse and timber and concrete dock manufacturing operations. 

The company employs 21 people at its northern New Hanover County facility, Heaton said.

The firm plans to bring a few key employees from the concrete dock manufacturing operation in Pennsylvania, he said. The rest of the employees needed for the expansion of its Castle Hayne operations would be hired locally.

The company would need about 10 employees initially and could later grow by another 10 to 15, he said. 

“We’re looking for a better location for our concrete manufacturing as far as climate and weather," Heaton said. "We looked around, and already having the facility in Wilmington, we liked what the area had to offer."

The site would serve the company's clients from Maine to South Carolina for concrete dock production, he said. 

A public community information meeting on the company's proposal for the land is scheduled to take place 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at Bellingham Marine's current Barbados Boulevard location.

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