Vancouver Business Journal

Wed12172014

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Freshii to open two additional Vancouver locations

Freshii to open two additional Vancouver locations

Less than one year ago, Doug and Rich Gillespie brought the Freshii franchise to...

Best practices for business seeking loans

Best practices for business seeking loans

With the right approach, applying for a loan doesn’t have to be painful. The fol...

Fit Right owners sell company

Fit Right owners sell company

Dave Sobolik and Robb Finegan, owners of Fit Right, a running store with locatio...

Women in construction: Building their success

Women in construction: Building their success

Some industries have been clearly dominated by one gender or the other; perhaps ...

“Erroneous cancellation” nixes 6,000 state health exchange accounts

“Erroneous cancellation” nixes 6,000 state health exchange accounts

Thousands of Washington state residents who signed up for health insurance cover...

10 Things: Greater Portland Inc CEO Janet LaBar

10 Things: Greater Portland Inc CEO Janet LaBar

Here are 10 things we learned from our discussion with Janet LaBar, CEO of Great...

Banking & Money Management

Best practices for business seeking loans

Best practices for business seeking loans

With the right approach, applying for a loan doesn’t have to be painful. The following best practices, garnered from local experts, can help business owners successfully obtain a new loan or restructure an existing one.

“Right now is a great time to restructure debt because interest rates are so low,” said Dave Hansen, Columbia Bank’s senior VP and regional manager for the Portland/Vancouver area...

Design & Construction

Women in construction: Building their success

Women in construction: Building their success

Some industries have been clearly dominated by one gender or the other; perhaps no industry more so than construction. However, in Southwest Washington, women are finding their place and respect amongst their male counterparts.

Leading to construction

As with most careers, there are a variety of paths that lead us to our chosen industry.

“I have always been fascinated with building things,” say...

News Briefs

State unemployment rate at 6.2 percent

Washington’s unemployment rate reached 6.2 percent in November, according to preliminary and seasonally-adjusted numbers released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department. This is the third month in a row the state unemployment rate has gone up.

Spotlight

Killa Bites enters second year with sweet expectations

Killa Bites enters second year with sweet expectations

One year into operations, Killa Bites is going strong, poised for growth and delighting sweets-lovers far and wide. The Ridgefield-based business is operated by founder Laura Jhaveri and partner Donna Suomi, who create and distribute gourmet popcorn, biscotti and their signature “Cake Bombs.”

The idea for Killa Bites emerged in July of 2011 when Jhaveri’s husband Akhil was diagnosed with ALS (Amy...

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

Five planning tips to help your business succeed in 2015

Five planning tips to help your business succeed in 2015

As we look forward to watching the ball drop in Times Square at midnight on Dec. 31 and the start of a new year, it’s a ...

The small print in loan documents

The small print in loan documents

Part of the small print in the stack of papers making up your loan documents is the rules you are promising to follow fo...

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