VANCOUVER, Wash. — After more than three years of negotiations, the Port of Vancouver USA and Northwest Packing Co. have agreed on terms and conditions necessary to extend the company’s lease for an additional 25 years, keeping the longtime tenant at the port for the foreseeable future.
“We couldn’t be more pleased,” said port CEO Todd Coleman. “Northwest Packing has operated at the port for more than 40 years and provides a significant number of jobs for our community. Our goal throughout negotiations was to reach an agreement that worked for both parties, and it looks like that’s where we’ve landed.”
Northwest Packing’s current lease, which dates back to 1987, was up for renewal in 2011. The lease stipulates that, if the company chose to renew, the port would adjust rent to fair market value. The port extended the lease to December 31, 2014 to give Northwest Packing a chance to evaluate its needs and both parties time to discuss options.
“It wasn’t an easy process, but we appreciate the port’s willingness to work through the tough issues,” said Northwest Packing CFO Jim McGovern. “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to reach agreement and keep our business and employees here in Vancouver.”
Northwest Packing is one of only three major fruit packers in the Pacific Northwest, a region that was once a hotbed for the industry. Both parties have been very concerned with keeping the company in Vancouver, not only for the hundreds of people it employs in the community, but also for those connected to the business in other ways.
“This agreement certainly helps provide some long-term stability for the company and its employees,” said Coleman. “But it’s also good news for the other folks in Northwest Packing’s supply chain – like truckers, fruit growers and consumers – who depend on this business.”
Northwest Packing’s lease is expected to go before the port’s Board of Commissioners for approval before the end of this year.
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The Port of Vancouver USA is one of the major ports on the Pacific Coast, and its competitive strengths include available land, versatile cargo handling capabilities, vast transportation networks, a skilled labor force and an exceptional level of service to its customers and community. For more information, please visit us at www.portvanusa.com.
Abbi Russell, Communications Manager