By Aaron Corvin, October 8, 2013, The Columbian
The Port of Vancouver Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a deal today to bring 95 acres under port ownership, opening a path to extend rails and roads westward in a larger effort to make hundreds of additional acres available to employers and cargo shippers.
Under the agreement approved by commissioners, the port will spend as much as $17 million to acquire four parcels totaling 95 acres from Moorage 5 Properties Inc. and Hickey Family Co.
The purchase and sales agreement is complicated, involving about 20 acres of wetlands and leases held by two companies. So, the agreement is conditional, and final acreage and price could change.
But port officials said Tuesday they have plenty of options to finance the property’s purchase. And the agreement, they said, is a major step toward solidifying the port’s long-term economic development plans.
The 95-acre parcel is critical to bringing “future business and jobs into this community,” said Curtis Shuck, director of economic development and facilities for the port.
That’s because the heavy-industrial property is sandwiched between two other port-owned tracts: Terminal 5 and Columbia Gateway. If the port secures the parcel, it would connect Terminal 5 — where the port maintains major rail facilities and where it wants to land part of an oil-handling operation and a potash export facility — to the 534-acre Columbia Gateway property.
As a result, the port would be able to carry out longtime plans to extend its industrial and marine facilities westward.
The port anticipates the purchase agreement will wrap up by Feb. 28, 2014.