Map of Eureka waterfront



BACKGROUND: 14 acres on both sides of Samoa Bridge. City foreclosed on $2 million note in 1996. With interest, total public investment is more than $4 million.

CONCEPT: 200-room Garden Inn with conference facility

THE BUZZ: Doubtful that two new hotels can make it on waterfront. Two council members voiced skepticism. Even the developer suggested an RV park instead.

2 Eureka Fisherman's Wharf

BACKGROUND: 1 acre between D and F. Bought in 1991 for $384,000. Huge old "fishermen's building" was once thought a candidate for restoration. Now considered too far gone, it will be demolished.

DEVELOPERS: Eureka Waterfront Partners (Dolores Vellutini and architect John Ash.)

CONCEPT: Two-story Fisherman's Wharf with first-floor retail, boat rentals, restaurants, theater. Second-floor condos for $350,000; private boat slips. 3-story office building next door.

THE BUZZ: Vellutini is a successful entrepreneur (Eureka Baking Co.and Ash has strong historic preservation credentials, but their development experience is limited to two Old Town building renovations. Parking is a problem: there is none.

3 Waterfront Hotel

BACKGROUND: 2 acres between C and D. Bought in 1995 for $503,000. Existing buildings will be moved or demolished.

DEVELOPERS: Thunderbird Inn owners Gary and Margaret Stone and hotel developer C.R. Gibb, who developed Waterfront Plaza Hotel in Oakland; Architect Robert Gianelli designed county library.

CONCEPT: 90 rooms, three floors with courtyard.

THE BUZZ: Makes sense economically because of high demand for waterfront rooms. Contrary to initial rendering, will likely be only 3 stories with courtyard facing south.

4 Humboldt Fisherman's Marketing Assoc. Project

BACKGROUND: 1 acre at foot of C. Bought in 1996 for $361,000. Landing/Lazio's building will be torn down.

DEVELOPERS: Humboldt Fisherman's Marketing Association.

CONCEPT: Icon of the working port. A reproduction of original steamship transit building that later became Lazio's Fish Co. Will combine fishermen's work area, fish-buying and processing with visitor access and fresh seafood sales.

THE BUZZ: HFMA seeking federal development grant, but they note that lots more money will be needed to make it happen.


5 H.H. Buhne Building will likely be moved to First and C, and restored as the new site of the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum.

6 Condos at foot of F Street. Owner Rita Sicard hopes to develop condominium complex with boat dock.

7 Rynecki Co. Developers of 4-year-old faux Victorian at First and H may build another one across the street if the city extends First Street east to connect with Waterfront Drive.

8 Vance Hotel at 2nd and G. Combative owner Stanson wants to lease the 75-unit hotel to College of the Redwoods for a dorm; or senior housing. He paid off last of his federal tax lien on Dec. 31, but long-standing fire and safety violations haven't gone away.

9 Globe Imports at foot of E. Owners say they'll "definitely expand" if other waterfront projects move ahead.

10 Vonson Building, former site of North Coast Co-op. The Feuerwerker family can imagine lots of possibilities if the waterfront develops as more of an attraction. Building includes old opera house.

11 Blue Ox Millworks at First and X. Owners hope to create a "living museum" of traditional woodworking, blacksmithing and other trades. City sharing feasibility study cost.

12 Woodley Island. A hotel or other project could someday arise next to the fisherman statue.


Boardwalk between C and F streets.

New dock and work area for fishing boats west of C Street (tied in with HFMA project).

Renovation of the small boat basin at foot of Commercial Street

Connection of Waterfront Drive from the Adorni Center to First and H streets in Old Town.

Signs and kiosks on 4th and 5th streets directing travelers to Old Town and the waterfront.

Bike/ped path from Samoa Bridge to Elk River Slough. Citizens love the idea and city owns long stretches of right of way.

Round-the-bay train rides. The smiles of people who paid $15 for the 4th of July Arcata-Eureka highlight the potential. But Northwestern Pacific has a long list of higher priorities, starting with survival.


Comments? E-mail the Journal:

The North Coast Journal Table of Contents