The Port of Camas-Washougal is getting a $2.9 million federal grant to build an industrial building twice as large as it had originally intended.
“We’re very excited about that. The whole reason we wanted to build more is that we’ve been at 100 percent occupancy for the past 3 1/2 years,” said port CEO David Ripp. “Even this last building we finished this last April (and) we had it leased out before we broke ground on it.”
Construction on the 50,000-square-foot industrial building at the Steigerwald Commerce Center will start next summer. The building is expected to open in January 2018. Ripp said the port doesn’t yet have any businesses lined up for the space, but it is in talks with one potential tenant.
“We’re pretty excited to have this come online,” Ripp said, as he traveled back from Olympia, where he had joined the city of Washougal in working on grant proposals to help the city’s trail and park plans.
The Department of Commerce announced the port’s grant Tuesday as a way to boost manufacturing in Washington.
“Supporting the efforts of U.S. manufacturers to innovate, grow and compete is a key focus of the Economic Development Administration,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a statement. “This EDA grant will boost employment opportunities for the region’s workforce by providing new industrial space that allows for local firms to expand their operations.”
The building could support up to 160 jobs, matching the port’s goal of about seven jobs per acre.