SEATTLE - A Seattle waterfront landmark is set to reopen its doors after a temporary shutdown.
Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 was forced to close for four months out of an abundance of caution due to a collapse at Pier 58.
Hal Griffith, Miner’s Landing owner, said the Seattle Waterfront is all about having a fun and safe experience. Though Pier 57 was not damaged by the collapse next door, it still had to close. Griffith said in all 50 years of business, his team could not be more excited to reopen on Thursday and begin recovering from a challenging 2020.
"It’s a very exciting moment. It’s almost like opening up for the first time," said Griffith.
In September, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections closed Miner’s Landing due to its close proximity to the Pier 58. Griffith said the red tag closure was an inconvenience considering businesses on the waterfront were already struggling in 2020.
"It’s been slower," he chuckled. "But also with everything else that’s going on and with the pandemic and the restrictions and all the things that the state has imposed, it has reduced traffic almost everywhere."
The city lifted the red tag on Pier 57 in December when 90% of Pier 58 was removed. As of Tuesday, the pier’s deck and most of its supporting piles were removed according to a representative with the Office of the Waterfront ant Civic Projects.
The city said the remaining work on Pier 58 includes removing concrete elements from the water and reopening the pedestrian walkway on the adjacent seawall. A representative said Pier 58 is expected to be fully removed by early 2021.
Pier 57 is privately owned by Griffith and his children. He said the team is putting the final touches on the Seattle Great Wheel and their other shops for reopening. Some of the attractions like Wings Over Washington and the carousel will remain closed under the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.
"It will be a slow process, but for the rest of the year we think it will be the first step and we look forward to a normal year once we get passed this pandemic, people get vaccinated and feel more comfortable getting out," said Griffith.
Getting out to see Miner’s Landing is something neighboring piers hope will bring back some tourism.
"The wheel is a great draw. We’re fortunate that a lot of locals have been coming back to the waterfront to sort of rediscover the space. It’s open, it’s outdoors, so it’s an activity that people can do together as families," said Nathan Bainbridge, Premier Meat Pies CEO and managing partner.
Premiere Meat Pies is located at Pier 54. Though it’s a block and a half away from Pier 57, Bainbridge said the reopening of Miner’s Landing benefits the whole waterfront.
"Even little things like seeing Pier 66 open up, that makes a difference. It’s an exciting time, we just have to hunker down and push through," said Bainbridge.
Pushing through 2020 was challenging enough for Griffith, his family and staff. He said everyone is ready to get back to work in this New Year.
"There’s a beginning and an end. Bad as it is right now we see a light at the end of the tunnel and we see a positive future," said Griffith.