The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
The Port of Grandview deserves to celebrate. It has enjoyed several noteworthy successes this year and I want to brag about our little Port District that does big things.
Back in January the Grandview Port District put the finishing touches on a site certification project for its Wallace Way and Byam Industrial parks. The Austin Company helped the port go through a detailed review of each site. They are a site selection firm and a national leader in the site certification process. Austin's people turned over every rock at each site and compiled over 40 pages of detailed information for these properties. As a result of the research completed and the related due dilagence processes, Austin certified both Port sites as shovel ready for food processing and general manufacturing. Now businesses that want to build a new facility at Port properties can enjoy expedited permitting and no unpleasant surprises. The information compiled on each business park eliminates the uncertainties and guesswork that can plague and even kill good development projects.
More recently the Port announced that the Pallet Place, a Spokane based company wants to build a new facility within the Wallace Way business park. The company serves Wal-Mart's distribution center, food processors and other businesses in the area and wants a more proximate facility where is can build and repair wood pallets. The Pallet Place's facility should be completed next year and the company expects to add 25-30 new jobs as a result.
The Port is also stepping up to buy an existing building at the Wallace Way business park and turn it into a food and beverage business incubator. Our local Supporting Investments in Economic Development (SIED) Board blessed this deal by providing the Port loan funds needed to purchase and equip the building. The Port will work closely with Yakima Valley Community College's Enology Center in Grandview and hopes that some of its graduates may want to make wine at this new incubator.
Ready to go sites, new companies coming to town, and an incubator are big achievements. These projects clearly demonstrate that the Port of Grandview is doing everything in its power to boost economic fortunes in Grandview and the lower Yakima Valley. Our hats are off to the Grandview Port Commissioners (Ron Grow, Jim Sewell & Richard Sheyner) and their Executive Director, Jessica Hansen. They are a great partner for economic development and showing us all how to make rubber hit the road.