Vancouver Business Journal

Sun04202014

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Trust, Park Service fail to reach agreement on Pearson Air Museum

Trust, Park Service fail to reach agreement on Pearson Air Museum

Several months after having entered into formal mediation talks to discuss issue...

Riverview Community Bank celebrates regulatory decision

Riverview Community Bank celebrates regulatory decision

Officials at Riverview Community Bank are moving forward with confidence knowing...

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

If commercial developers feel like circus performers walking a tightrope, there ...

 Business Growth Award finalists announced

Business Growth Award finalists announced

14 businesses have been named finalists for the Vancouver Business Journal's 201...

Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

The leaders of a Clark County food processing company will bring their efforts t...

Developers cautious but developing

Developers cautious but developing

Although the Great Recession is behind us, many businesses and individuals are s...

Design & Construction

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

If commercial developers feel like circus performers walking a tightrope, there is good reason.

Limited financing, escalating regulatory and raw material costs, and still-low property valuations make penciling out a project difficult. And yet, workforce trends and emerging technologies demand designs that look to the future.

Build to the budget

According to Ron Frederiksen, president of RSV Bui...

Innovation & Manufacturing

Southwest Washington keeps its focus on manufacturing

Southwest Washington keeps its focus on manufacturing

Southwest Washington boasts a number of regional factors that are beneficial to the local economy. Among them are access to clean water, affordable power and a skilled workforce. These factors have continued to drive the local manufacturing industry in 2014 – an industry that was one of the first to convincingly move forward out of the recession.

“Advanced manufacturing aligns with both our Orego...

News Briefs

CREDC seeks health care startups to participate in “Shark Tank”

The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is accepting applications from startups related to the health care sector interested in participating in Clark County PubTalk’s annual business pitch competition on Tuesday, June 17.

Spotlight

Audio Fox: A sound solution

Audio Fox: A sound solution

Like a lot of small businesses, Vancouver-based Sound Product Solutions started with a problem. Several years into retirement, Rex Clark was experiencing hearing loss – and he wasn’t the only one affected by that change.

“We had some disagreements, me and my wife, about where the volume should be on the TV,” said Rex. He remembered similar struggles between his own parents, but the best solution ...

Leveraging the land

As it is today, the Port of Camas-Washougal is a small but active port. Both its 350-slip recreational marina and 79-hangar airport are full with waiting lists, and the port is looking to build out its industrial park to the east. As it is today, the Port of Camas-Washougal is a small but active port. Both its 350-slip recreational marina and 79-hangar airport are full with waiting lists, and the port is looking to build out its industrial park to the east.

Although the port has been the target of some criticism following the demise of waterfront development plans with Riverwalk on the Columbia LLC in 2007, it is forging ahead to make improvements and develop land to create jobs – which is ultimately a port’s job, said Scot Walstra, director of planning and development.

Creating industrial draw

Working with Berger Abam  and MacKay and Sposito Inc., both of Vancouver, a master development plan is underway for the 122 acres of undeveloped land in the port’s 430-acre industrial park. It started with a zoning review, which determined that the land’s heavy industrial zone is appropriate and flexible for future development, Walstra said.



The public process is now focused on what design options should be applied to the park.
 
The port is gathering feedback on design features regarding loading docks, solid waste and recycling, building materials, parking lots, public frontages, screening and buffers, signage and pedestrian amenities and stormwater.

Public comments so far have emphasized the need to honor and preserve the natural beauty of the area and make future development attractive and sustainable.

An open house is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 27 at the port offices to review and gain comment on the draft alternative plans.

For the last few years, Clark County has had low industrial vacancy but in recent months, vacancy has entered the double digits. But Walstra said he doesn’t expect demand to dwindle. Out-of-state companies are looking to relocate to take advantage of the area’s tremendous capacity for electricity and quality of life, he said.

The port’s 310 acres of developed industrial property are 93 percent occupied, down from 98 percent. The decrease is directly related to the drop in residential new construction, Walstra said.

The port has had several offers for development in the park, including three recent bona fide proposals to buy and develop fairly large single cluster projects, Walstra said. Industries that have expressed interest include biofuel, forest products, technology manufacturing and aquatic sciences development.

Airport plans take off

There are about 4,000 registered pilots in Clark County, but Walstra said because of Grove Field’s limited scope, the port is missing out on a big opportunity for jobs and dollars.

The port is in the midst of a $480,000 environmental assessment and public process to clear the way for realigning and expanding the 2,620-foot-long runway and adding needed hangars.

The goal is to increase safety and make the recreational airport fully compliant with Federal Aviation Administration design standards to position the port to take advantage of FAA funding.

“FAA certification opens the door for funding to make improvements that it would otherwise take the port decades to complete,” Walstra said. “It essentially fast tracks the ability to do economic development for the community.”

The project would realign the runway to the south and extend it to the west about 350 feet, which would require the relocation of Delp Road.

Alaska-based WHPacific and JLA Public Involvement, which has offices in Vancouver and Portland, are working with the port to conduct the assessment and public outreach.

A Draft Environmental Assessment is expected for public review in the fall, with an environmental finding expected from the FAA in late 2009. Construction could begin in 2010.

The air field now generates 24 jobs and about $1.4 million, but it has no fixed-base operators at the airport. Improved facilities and 17 new hangars are expected, but Walstra said the field could use another 100 hangars on top of that.

On the waterfront

The port recently finished two marina repair projects and dredging, which removed silt and sediment from the marina.

Older wood components were replaced on the 1,300-foot breakwater, which serves as a dock for visiting boats and reduces wave action inside the marina.

In-house, the port rebuilt and installed launch ramps. Together, the projects cost about $434,000.

Future plans include adding slips for boats larger than 40 feet – which the marina can’t now accommodate – that could attract a different group of boaters, Walstra said.

Megan Patrick-Vaughn can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Opinion

Focus Column

Innovating innovation

Innovating innovation

If you want to attract innovation, you need to be innovative. The Clark County Economic Development plan, which guides t...

You can thrive without reinventing the wheel

You can thrive without reinventing the wheel

Every day the media bombards us with headlines of doomsday for American manufacturers. We read how competition is stiff,...

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