Port focuses on waterfront development

Additions to Steigerwald Commerce Center are also addressed at capital planning retreat

The immediate priority for the Port of Camas-Washougal is getting the waterfront development off the ground.

That is according to Port Commissioner John Spencer.

“It will improve revenue flow [for the port],” he said during the commission’s strategic and capital planning retreat Jan. 27, at The Heathman Lodge. “The waterfront will have the biggest impact on the community. It will bring jobs, and Washougal needs the sales tax.”

Spencer said later he expects the port will lease land for development and build commercial/retail buildings for lease.

“The port’s primary job is economic development,” he said. “We build buildings and infrastructure so that private industry can flourish, thus bringing new jobs.”

The port owns 27 acres, and Parker’s Landing LLC owns 13 acres of the former Hambleton Lumber Company property at 335 S. “A” St., Washougal.

Parker’s Landing LLC is represented by Killian Pacific President Lance Killian.

Killian Pacific is interested in purchasing some of the port-owned land on the east end of the waterfront. That area is expected to include rental residential development.

The port is not chartered to be involved in residential development that does not have commercial or retail businesses tied to it.

Multi-family and single-family residential are among the development options mentioned by David Hansen, a Seattle architect hired by the port to create a master plan for the land.

Port Executive Director David Ripp said options include the port swapping, leasing or selling land to Killian Pacific. Commissioner Bill Ward has said he would favor swapping or leasing land.

Spencer and Commissioner Bill Macrae-Smith have indicated they are open to the potential of selling some of the waterfront land for residential development.

Ward said the port should request proposals for competitive pricing from companies interested in buying, leasing or developing some of that land.

“We should avoid sole source procurement and insure the value of the property would be realized,” he said.

Spencer said regarding a land transaction with Killian Pacific he wanted to “make this thing happen.”

Killian was present for some of the discussions during the retreat.

Port Attorney Carolyn Lake recommended further discussions occur during an executive session.

Those talks are expected to occur during an executive session Tuesday, Feb. 7, following the port commission’s next regular meeting at 5 p.m., in the port office meeting room, 24 S. “A” St., Washougal. Executive sessions are closed to the public.

During the retreat, Ward said the port should watch out for “gifting public assets.”

Ripp said selling land at market value is not gifting.

He referred to the Steigerwald Commerce Center where there is an asking price per square foot.

“We are not taking bids,” Ripp said.

He mentioned the uniform look of commercial, office and retail buildings, as the port partners with Killian.

The waterfront developments are expected to be built in phases and blocks.

“Residential is priority one for commercial,” Ripp said.

Killian said residential development will provide “built in customers” for the commercial and retail businesses.

Industrial park developments

Ripp said there is a potential $1.5 million sale of approximately six acres in the Steigerwald Commerce Center.

A manufacturing company is interested in locating there.

“There has been 100 percent occupancy for almost four years,” Ripp said regarding the port’s industrial park.

Construction bids for Building 18 will be requested in mid-April or early May.

The project is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018.

The 50,000-square-foot metal pre-fabricated building will be located east of the Waste Connections transfer station, 4020 S. Grant St.

The port has pre-leased 6,600 square feet in it.

“The building has not been constructed yet, and this company has advised they would like this space to lease before it’s available,” Ripp said.

The name of the interested company was not made public. The lease will be up for port commission approval in the late spring.

Another company is interested in leasing 3,300 square feet.

Johansson Architecture, PC, of Battle Ground, is the architect for Building 18.