A new phase of work at the Port of Kalama’s 70-acre Spencer Creek Business Park is about to get underway.
Earlier this week, the port’s Board of Commissioners awarded a $1.2 million contract for Phase 2 site preloading and ground improvements to Battle Ground-based Tapani Underground Inc.
“The purpose of the (Phase 2) preload is to compress the native soils so that when buildings are constructed they doesn’t settle and cause structural problems,” explained Mark Wilson, executive director for the port.
The current phase of work will occur in several steps to allow for land settlement. Upon completion, the park’s entire 70-acre footprint will be ready for above-ground development. The port also plans to replant new trees and vegetation at the site, according to a plan developed in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Located north of Kalama River Road at exit 32 on Interstate-5, the Spencer Creek Business Park will feature more than 500,000 square feet of light industrial, office, commercial and retail space when built-out. Potential site uses may include a new hotel, big box store, restaurants and more.
The project is part of what the port calls its East Port initiative, which includes the recently completed state-of-the-art recreational facility, Haydu Park. The park features baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, shoreline access and the Kalama Fairgrounds.
“The East Port development represents all elements of our mission in one project,” said Wilson. “It commenced with Haydu Park, which provides recreational opportunities and access to the Kalama River, and our next step is the Spencer Creek Business Park which will diversify our job base and bring more capital investment. We believe this will be an economic engine for the region and also provide a beautiful gateway to the Kalama River Valley.”
While the East Port will be built out over several years, business park construction and operational activities are projected to support more than 1,000 jobs, $40 million in annual payroll wages, $270 million in business revenues and $4.5 million in annual tax revenue.
Port opts to purchase riverfront properties
The port continues to work closely with the broader community and stakeholder groups during the development of Spencer Creek. As a result of this collaboration, the port has agreed to purchase several properties located between Kalama River Road and the Kalama River, after being approached by the current owners.
Officials said there are no plans to develop these riverfront properties “for heavy industrial use or any other activity that would adversely impact the river or shoreline habitat.”