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Dairy purchases port property for $5 million

Barely on the market for a month, the Port of Sunnyside sold nearly 500 acres of its property holdings to Sunnyside Dairy LLC for $5 million.

The dairy is owned by Aquilini Investment Group, a family-owned company based in Vancouver, Canada.

Port commissioners approved the sale yesterday, Monday, after continuing an executive session convened last Friday.

The biggest chunk of that land is 378 acres southwest of Sunnyside near the Yakima River. Port officials originally hoped to place a wetlands on the parcel to aid with its wastewater operations. With an anaerobic digester now under construction, the port scrapped its wetlands plans.

The other acreage sold yesterday as part of the deal is 115 acres north of the Sunnyside Airport.

Travis Jansen is the port’s project manager, and he says a portion of the sale proceeds will help fund construction of the digester. The rest, he adds, “…gives us some cash for future projects.”

Jansen said the acreage has in the past been leased to grow corn and alfalfa.

The dairy’s office in Sunnyside couldn’t confirm the Aquilini Investment Group’s plans for the properties.

The investment group has 30 days to investigate the properties and “…do their due diligence,” says Jansen. If they find issues with the land they can walk away from the deal.

The sale officially closes 60 days from yesterday.

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