Industrial development breaks ground in Vancouver

Nevada firm hopes to finish facility near Orchards by July 14

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Construction on Vancouver’s first new industrial development in more than 10 years has begun and should be finished by this summer, the project’s developers said Thursday.

Dermody Properties, a national industrial development firm based in Nevada, held a groundbreaking for the $10 million project in the muddy rain on Thursday morning. Owners of the 98,400-square-foot facility near Orchards hope to draw tenants from manufacturing and the high-tech sector, said Phil Wood, the company’s Northwest regional partner.

“The ideal tenant is building supply, manufacturing, small manufacturing, logistics, e-commerce,” Wood said. “We’ve had quite a bit of interest already from manufacturers that want to look at it.”

They’re also open to discussion should a client want to purchase the entire facility, he said.

The building, called LogistiCenter 205, at Northeast 60th Way, will have 30-foot clear height (the distance from the floor to the lowest-hanging ceiling object), a 130-foot truck court and 21 dock doors. Dermody hopes to complete the project by July 14.

The company chose the location because it’s only 2.2 miles from the I-205 interchange on state Highway 500, Wood added.

“This was a site that we liked,” Wood said. “We like building on the 205 corridor, there’s a little less traffic.”

The market for industrial facilities in Clark County is also saturated, with a 3.7 percent vacancy rate in 2014, which shows the need for new development, Wood said.

Eric Fuller, president of Eric Fuller & Associates Inc. commercial real estate firm in Vancouver and past president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council, agreed that there’s a strong need for such facilities here. He added that he was impressed by how quickly the project is slated for completion.

“The multi-tenant industrial market is 4 percent or less today, vacancy factor,” Fuller said. “It’s very good timing. … That’s exactly what the market needs.”

Vancouver City Councilman Bill Turlay, who attended the groundbreaking, said he was thrilled that the company chose to develop a project in Vancouver. He hopes it will foster local business and job creation, he said.

“The idea is it’s a Class A facility, and we don’t have one yet,” Turlay said. “One of the things we found out was our permitting process worked very well. It’s a group effort to attract businesses like this here, and we’re really pleased that they’re willing to invest in our community.”

Dermody also has a large industrial property in Portland, and the company is looking for more sites in the region for potential development, Wood said.

“We’re actively looking for more sites, both in Clark County and in Portland,” Wood said. “We’re excited to be here. We haven’t done a new building in the Portland area since 2007, and we’re excited to be back in the game.”

Turlay said he thinks the project is also a good sign that the local economy is improving.

“I’m excited about this,” Turlay said. “I’m excited about where we are — coming back from the big recession.”

The CREDC and Greater Portland Inc. also worked with officials to secure the project, Turlay said.

“We want to work together to attract people into the region,” Turlay said. “This is a victory for our entire community, not just Vancouver.”