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News / Business / Clark County Business

Port of Woodland in growth mode; Rose Way Industrial Park could employ hundreds when completed

First two buildings in the industrial park are ready for business

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 5, 2024, 3:29pm

Decades of effort by Port of Woodland officials is coming to a head next week, as the port is set to officially open the first two of its buildings at the Rose Way Industrial Park.

The park has been in the works since 2014. But a $3 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration jump-started the project in 2020. The port bought the property in 2000.

Jennifer Wray-Keene, executive director at the port, anticipates design work on the park’s remaining buildings to start next year.

The port estimates the 12-acre Rose Way Industrial Park could generate as many as 450 jobs across its six buildings, which range in size from 15,000 to 25,000 square feet. Each will be about the size of the Barnes and Noble store in Vancouver.

The Rose Way park is specifically intended to bring in manufacturing and industrial businesses, rather than warehousing, which employs fewer people for the space it uses.

The Rose Way park is just the beginning of the industrial area intended to bring more jobs to Woodland, Wray-Keene said. The development has sparked more industrial growth surrounding it.

“Creating jobs within our community is key,” she said.

The buildings haven’t been leased out yet.

Woodland has grown steadily over the years. About 3,800 people called the rural town that sits in both Cowlitz and Clark counties home in 2000, while about 6,500 live there two decades later, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As with all the region’s ports, the Port of Woodland is in growth mode. In addition to the Rose Way park, its Centennial Industrial Park was launched in 2021. And the port signed its first lease for its riverfront Martin’s Bar property earlier this year.

“We’ve had a lot of different activity,” Wray-Keene said. “It’s all to show that we are really focused on improving economic development and recreation throughout the port district, whether it’s on port property or the development of private property and a range of businesses services to improve our district.”