DULUTH, MINNESOTA, US — The Duluth Seaway Port Authority on Dec. 10 finalized its acquisition of the Duluth Lake Port dock on Rice’s Point from TN LLC for $950,000.

The 7.5-acre dock and 3.5-acre slip date back to the 1880s, when Duluth Imperial Mill built the site’s initial flour mill and grain elevators. According to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the facility was last used for grain in 2015.

Future plans for the dock are undetermined. It is currently being used by Duluth Cargo Connect to handle the site’s rail assets and as a shop building. J.F. Brennan also leases a portion of the site to store material and equipment for its maritime engineering operations.

“Our future use of this property is still in the planning phases, but our goal is to revitalize the pier and bring it back to life in a way that contributes to our regional economy and further expands Duluth Cargo Connect’s service to customers within our region and around the globe,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “In the long term, it could become a second expansion of the Clure Terminal.”

In the short term, plans could include demolition of the grain elevator structures, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said. Another possibility is it may seek to accommodate the storage and trade of a non-agricultural bulk commodity with the existing elevators. Rehabilitation of the pier’s dock walls is a priority to secure the site and open possibilities for future freight-related use, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said.

“We’re excited to acquire this property, which will help us strengthen the port’s working waterfront, enhance trade and bring new opportunities to Rice’s Point,” DeLuca said.