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Friday, February 23, 2024
Feb. 23, 2024

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Aerospace firm eyes Washougal; Manufacturer’s plan would bring at least 100 jobs to county

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A California-based aerospace manufacturer has made an offer to purchase a 3.4-acre lot in the Port of Camas-Washougal’s industrial park, where it plans to construct a 16,000-square-foot facility that would bring at least 100 jobs to eastern Clark County.

United Precision Corp., which purchased 200,000 square feet of developable land in the Steigerwald Commerce Center in 2021 for $1.58 million, is “interested in further expansion and possibly (building) a research and development facility” on Lot 14E, Port business development director Derek Jaeger said Oct. 4, during a Port Commission meeting.

“We understand 14E … is one of our primary lots, so we’ll ask a premier price for it,” Jaeger said. “Right now, we’re looking at $1.245 million. We’re still negotiating.”

Port commissioners, who are tentatively scheduled to vote on the agreement during their next meeting on Wednesday, voiced their approval of the proposed sale.

“I appreciate the fact that United Precision is interested in continuing to develop their business here at the Port,” Commissioner Larry Keister said. “We’ve sold two parcels to them (in the past), and the reason that the commission decided to make those sales was to make sure that we got UPC to locate here. It’s a different type of company than we’ve dealt with in the past. Them asking to purchase land to build another building kind of cements their long-term vision for this area. (It will) benefit our community.”

The contract states that United Precision shall “grant to the Port of Camas-Washougal, as trustee for the public, access across the property to the adjacent levee … as consistent with access plans approved by the Port Commission.”

United Precision — based in Chatsworth, Calif. — assembles machined metal seals, precision burst discs, and check and relief valves for critical applications, with a client base that includes Boeing, SpaceX, United States Navy, U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin. In 2018, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration awarded United Precision with its Small Business Subcontractor Excellence award.

Jaeger said United Precision has proposed building a “tech-savvy, modern-looking building” on Lot 14E.

“It’s more office-focused, not one of our usual industrial types,” Keister said. “In that section of the Steigerwald Commerce Center, the commission’s proposed vision was going toward utilizing the views of the Steigerwald refuge and access to the trail, so (this building) would fit right into what we’ve been talking about.”

The contract states that United Precision will, at a minimum, evaluate and deploy on-site energy-generation systems, such as rooftop solar photovoltaics, solar hot water systems and heat pumps where feasible.

The company could also make the building solar-ready; consider greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air-quality impacts of all energy sources to be used in the development; endeavor to meet or exceed Washington state goals related to carbon-neutral energy and clean building standards; and locate electric vehicle-ready infrastructure.

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