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News / Business / Clark County Business

Port of Woodland to diversify as it sets itself on path to operate first marine terminal

It signs lease with Wilsonville Concrete Products for space on Martin’s Bar property

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: April 8, 2024, 5:15pm
4 Photos
The Port of Woodland is moving toward operating marine terminals, signing a lease with Wilsonville Concrete Products for space on the port&rsquo;s Martin Bar property, as seen Monday afternoon.
The Port of Woodland is moving toward operating marine terminals, signing a lease with Wilsonville Concrete Products for space on the port’s Martin Bar property, as seen Monday afternoon. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The Port of Woodland is on the path to operating marine terminals for the first time — a move the port started eyeing more than 50 years ago.

The port signed a lease with Wilsonville Concrete Products for space on the port’s Martin’s Bar property.

“Our family is honored to be undertaking this new partnership with the Port of Woodland to activate the port’s Columbia River frontage as a source of quality local employment,” said David Bernert, president of the Wilsonville, Ore., company.

The port in Cowlitz County has owned that property since 1967. But a 2020 feasibility study helped determine what more could be done with the site.

Up to now, the port has been in the industrial park business.

According to the port, the site is one of the few greenfields along the Columbia River that is zoned for heavy industrial use. Greenfields are undeveloped areas planned for development.

Paul Cline, Woodland port commission president, called the lease signing an exciting step for the port to diversify the city’s economy and bring more family-wage jobs to the area.

He also praised the port for preparing the property for its intended use after buying the land in 1967.

“These are exciting times for the port, and we look forward to getting to know (Wilsonville), the jobs that will be created and the investments in the community,” port Commissioner Bob Wile said.

The lease-signing announcement said Wilsonville Concrete still has several steps before finalizing the deal. The company plans to do studies and design work before moving on to permitting.

The company expects the process to take two years. Then, the port will have a final lease review to look over the final engineered and permitted plan.

“Though there are significant steps that Wilsonville will need to accomplish during their due diligence, I am confident they are prepared to climb that mountain towards a successful project,” said Rob Rich, port commission secretary.

“The maritime industry has passed by the waters of the Port of Woodland for several decades. Today, we will begin the process to leverage this property, the Columbia River Channel, with those investments that will be made by Wilsonville Concrete Products to our industrial property,” Rich added.

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