Interest building for prime Port properties

Company commits before construction even begins

Port of Camas-Washougal Executive Director David Ripp

The Port of Camas-Washougal cannot build buildings fast enough to accommodate interest in its Steigerwald Commerce Center.

Port Executive Director David Ripp said one company has verbally committed to leasing 6,600 square feet in Building 18, and that he is having discussions with two other businesses interested in locating in the future 49,500-square-foot structure.

Ripp is not releasing the names of the three companies.

“The interest the Port is receiving is from industrial types of businesses looking for space to either expand, relocate or start a business,” Ripp said.

Construction bids for Building 18 will be requested in June, and the project’s completion is expected during the first quarter of 2018.

The metal pre-fabricated building will be located on 6.2 acres east of the Waste Connections transfer station at 4020 S. Grant St., Washougal. Johansson Architecture of Battle Ground is designing the building.

“Dave is getting takers on Building 18, and we have not even broken ground yet,” Port Finance Director Kim Noah said during the April 4 Port Commission meeting.

Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board will provide funding — a $1.7 million loan and a $300,000 grant — to help cover construction costs.

The Port is using a $2.875 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help fund construction. Without the EDA funding, the structure would be 25,000-square-feet. The Building 18 project is expected to use $875,000 from the Port’s capital reserves.

During a special meeting May 26, the Port Commission approved the issuance and sale of up to $5.1 million in revenue bonds, with an interest rate not to exceed 5.5 percent.

Ripp said the bonds would fund part of Building 18 and other capital projects.