Analysis pegs 13 ‘lands for jobs’
They total 570 acres; it would take as long as 18 months to get building permit for each
Sunday, January 8, 2012
The Columbia River Economic Development Council’s “lands for jobs” analysis pegged 70 potentially developable sites of 20 acres or larger, but found that only 13 could reasonably be made ready for development within 18 months.
The CREDC’s analysis focused on shovel-ready vacant lands for siting employers looking to come here and existing ones that want to expand — not block-level urban renewal or current office and industrial vacancy rates.
The 13 sites total more than 570 acres, with seven industrial sites, three business parks, plus locations zoned for office and commercial purposes. For each, it would take 18 months or less to secure a building permit, including addressing infrastructure and environmental issues.
CREDC officials were reluctant to share specific locations of the privately held parcels — some of which aren’t necessarily under single ownership — saying they don’t want to fray the nerves of private landowners.
“We’re not trying to tell anyone how they have to sell their land,” said Lisa Nisenfeld, head of the CREDC. “We’re just trying to see what we’ve got and what infrastructure and related investments and policy changes it’s going to take to make them useful for jobs.”
Based on multiple interviews, The Columbian was able to roughly plot the general locations of the privately held properties on the list of 13 sites. Properties owned by governments, such as a port, were easier to pinpoint.
CREDC officials said the “lands for jobs” study is a living document that will be continuously updated, so the list of available parcels could change accordingly.