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Marti's Flower Carte moving from Port's incubator building

Last night (Monday) the Port of Sunnyside commissioners were alerted that the port's idea of helping business owners get established in the community by providing incubator space has been a success for one business owner.

Marti's Flower Carte nearly three years ago moved into its current location at 440 Barnard Boulevard. The space is located in the Port of Sunnyside's incubator building at the corner of Barnard Boulevard and East Edison Avenue.

Martha "Marti" and John Villanueva, owners of Marti's Flower Carte, recently submitted a letter to the Port of Sunnyside, announcing their intent to move the business from the incubator space.

Port of Sunnyside Property Development and Project Manager Jay Hester said, "This is a positive."

This morning Mrs. Villanueva told the Daily Sun News she has intentions of relocating her business. She said she is eying two different spaces. One is located downtown and another is on Yakima Valley Highway.

"I hope to be moved in on time for our annual holiday sparkles event, and our business anniversary," she said.

The incubator space, said Villanueva, was helpful to her. Her business started in her home, but about three years ago she decided she needed more space. That's when she began operating from her current location, which has afforded her the opportunity to establish a strong foundation, growing her customer base.

Villanueva said, "I'm grateful for the support of the Port of Sunnyside and the community...I hope to be in my new location before Christmas."

Another positive property agreement was approved last night at the Port of Sunnyside meeting.

Jim Cuddy of Jim's Hay LLC asked for an extension and amendment to his lease. He leases property in the area of Murray and Emerald roads.

Cuddy requested the lease due to expire at the end of the year be extended three years to match the lease of two other properties he uses.

He also asked that the port district accept a higher lease price. He has been paying $88.62 per acre plus taxes and water fees. He wishes to pay the Port of Sunnyside $100 per acre.

The commissioners approved the lease extension and amendment.

The commissioners also approved a low bid submitted by O.L. Luther Company for a project to increase the asphalt surface area in front of the Port of Sunnyside's screw press tote loading area. The project was advertised and two bids were considered. A&B Asphalt submitted a bid for more than $13,800 and O.L. Luther's bid is just more than $12,400.

Speaking to the commissioners about property matters, too, was Port Executive Director Amber Hansen. No action was taken on the matter involving a lease agreement between the port district and EnTrust Community Services, formerly known as Provident/Horizon.

Hansen said EnTrust recently discussed with her their budget. The non-profit organization has been leasing space in the Port of Sunnyside's incubator building since January 2003.

The issue at hand is that EnTrust is reliant on the state of Washington for much of its funding.

The group helps those with disabilities learn job skills, but the state has cut its budget.

Because of the budget cuts, EnTrust requested a reduction in its lease, which is currently just more than $4,600 per month. The space leased is approximately 10,000 square feet.

The organization is requesting a reduction of about $1,000 in its lease, which expires in three years.

Hansen said EnTrust is interested in subleasing space not currently used and she feels it would benefit both the Port of Sunnyside and EnTrust if an approved tenant can be found.

No action was taken.

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