Companies offer glimpse of Building 18’s future

Coffee pod, beer producers among tenants moving into Industrial Park

Port of Camas-Washougal Facilities Manager Jeramy Wilcox (left) talks with Josh Swift (right), owner of Swift Machining, during an open house in Building 18, May 23. Six companies, with a starting workforce of 85 to 90 employees, will locate in the 49,500 square foot building -- the Port's largest structure to date -- in the Steigerwald Commerce Center.

Two of the companies that will soon move into the Port of Camas-Washougal’s newest and largest industrial park building recently had a chance to showcase their products with people who attended an open house hosted by the Port.

John Plutshack and Jodie Ayura, a husband and wife team that owns Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, of Hood River, Oregon, and Tim Widmer, vice president of sales for iFillCup, of Vancouver, provided samples of beer and coffee, respectively, during the Port’s Building 18 open house, in Washougal, May 23.

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales will expand its’ barrel aging program and store beer inside a 3,300 square foot bay in Building 18, while iFillCup will relocate from a 5,000-square-foot suite in Vancouver, to occupy 9,900 square feet, in the port’s new building.

Edward Cai, chief executive officer of iFillCup, and a Camas resident, has said the company’s current location in Vancouver is not designed for production, and plans for the new site in Washougal include manufacturing 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable coffee and espresso drink pods.

Plutshack and Ayura hope to have a federal permit from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, as well as a Washington State microbrewery license by mid-July, and then they will start brewing beer in the former Amnesia Brewing site, at 1834 Main St., in downtown Washougal, later this summer. They will brew cider and beer in the spring and fall, at their current Hood River location.

For Steve Klett, relocating his company to Building 18 has involved moving himself and several family members from Southern California to Washougal.

Klett, vice president of Therasigma LLC, manufactures pain management medical devices. His father, Jim, is the company’s founder and president.

Five companies have signed leases with the Port to locate in Building 18, at 4060 S. Grant St., and Port Executive Director Dave Ripp is in discussions with a potentially interested sixth tenant. After tenant improvements are completed, the total starting workforce will be 85 to 90 employees with expectations for the employment number to increase in the future.

Funding sources for construction of the $5.7 million metal prefabricated structure’s shell included a $2.875 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration, as well as a $1.7 million loan and a $300,000 grant from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board and $875,000 from the Port.

Ripp said with the Port’s portion of the shell construction cost being 15 percent of the total, he described it as “an awesome investment for jobs, as well as a financially sound investment.”

The next phase of the Building 18 project will involve the Port paying Rotschy, Inc., of Vancouver, $690,264, to add restrooms and walls that will separate each tenant’s space this month.

Funding the next Industrial Park building

As the Port celebrates the completion of constructing the Building 18’s shell, it looks forward to building a similar, but probably smaller, structure.

The cost of engineering a 25,000-square-foot Building 19, adjacent to the east of Building 18 on Grant Street, in 2019 is estimated to be $275,000, and construction in 2020 could cost $2.72 million.

Proceeds from the Port’s recent sale of 2.43 acres to McDonald Excavating, Inc., for $636,432, will go toward the Building 19 project.

Ryan McDonald, president and co-owner of McDonald Excavating, plans to move the company from its’ 3,000 square foot space at 2719 Main St., near downtown Washougal, to a not-yet-constructed 10,000 square foot building in the Port’s Industrial Park, within the next year or two.

“We’re busting at the seams now,” McDonald said.

He currently has 44 employees, and he hopes to hire more to work at the larger site.

McDonald’s father, Mike McDonald, is part owner of the company. Prior to founding McDonald Excavating in 1980, Mike McDonald purchased the land where the company is currently located from his father, Walter McDonald.

Approximately 43 acres of the Port’s industrial park land remain available to purchase.