Vancouver Business Journal

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Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

With all the vacant land in Clark County, you’d think businesses wanting to move...

Give More 24 results:  1,842 donations, $431,994 raised

Give More 24 results: 1,842 donations, $431,994 raised

Give More 24!, a 24-hour fundraising event organized by the Community Foundation...

WSU medical school initiative could benefit Clark County

WSU medical school initiative could benefit Clark County

Officials at Washington State University believe the time has come to pursue an ...

A debate of value: NW Packing and Port of Vancouver negotiations continue

A debate of value: NW Packing and Port of Vancouver negotiations continue

NW Packing, a part of Neil Jones Food Co., is troubled by their negotiations wit...

Manufacturers investing in the future

Manufacturers investing in the future

Invest in what you do. That is the mantra of many Southwest Washington manufactu...

Biscuits Café to open East Vancouver location

Biscuits Café to open East Vancouver location

Plans are underway to start construction on a Biscuits Café at the Eastside Spec...

Innovation & Manufacturing

Manufacturers investing in the future

Manufacturers investing in the future

Invest in what you do. That is the mantra of many Southwest Washington manufacturers this year, as they pour significant investments into new facilities, equipment and infrastructure.

Take ProTech Composites, for example. This carbon fiber manufacturer grew sales 57 percent last year and projects 30 percent growth this year. Jeff Olsen, ProTech Composites president, said that the company is on tr...

Real Estate & Development

Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

With all the vacant land in Clark County, you’d think businesses wanting to move here would have no problem finding a location. It turns out that’s not the case.

According to industry experts, there is a shortage of ready-to-use sites for light industrial purposes, and a demand that isn’t being met.

“The problem we have is a lack of infrastructure on many properties that would be suitable for li...

News Briefs

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awards $250,000 to Children’s Center

Children’s Center has announced a $250,000 grant award from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The grant was awarded in support of the local nonprofit’s capital campaign for a new facility, currently under construction in east Vancouver.

Spotlight

Columbia Hobby Distribution experiencing explosive growth

Columbia Hobby Distribution experiencing explosive growth

Who wouldn’t want to turn their hobby into a hefty paycheck? That is exactly what Stephen Tingwall, CEO at Columbia Hobby Distribution, did.

In 2004, Tingwall started selling hobby collection supplies on eBay. These supplies include storage boxes and display cases for collectibles such as coins, stamps, comics, trading cards and autographed baseballs or football helmets.

“The company started out...

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

Lurking dangers in purchase and sale agreements

Lurking dangers in purchase and sale agreements

Many who purchase real estate put faith in their broker to correctly complete “form” Purchase and Sale Agreements (PSA)....

An update on the Clark County office market

An update on the Clark County office market

As seemingly with most businesses and families, the commercial office market in Clark County has made it through the rec...

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