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Grandview Port puts the development in community development

GRANDVIEW – The Port of Grandview is living up to the Community Development Award it received from the Grandview Chamber of Commerce earlier this year.

In the last few weeks the port has attracted a new company, Pallet Place, to Grandview.

The Spokane-based company serves the Wal-Mart Distribution Center and will build a new facility within the port’s Wallace Way business corridor. Pallet Place purchased 5.5 acres from the port at a price of $203,000.

In addition, the Port of Grandview sold a three-acre parcel along Wallace Way earlier this month to Oasis Farms for $125,000. Based in Prosser, Oasis will package blueberries at the Grandview site.

Combined, the two companies will bring around 40 new jobs to Grandview.

On top of that, port commissioners are in the process of creating an incubator for new businesses in the wine and food industry.

The hope is to partner with YVCC’s enology program in Grandview and encourage future winemakers to stay in the city to start their careers following graduation.

The port isn’t operating in a vacuum, either, in pulling off the recent development as it recently garnered more than $400,000 in grants and loans through Yakima County’s Supporting Investments in Economic Development (SIED) funds.

The money will be used to construct a cul de sac to provide access to the Pallet Place site and to develop the business incubator.

“These projects clearly demonstrate that the Port of Grandview is doing everything in its power to boost economic fortunes in Grandview and the lower Yakima Valley,” Dave McFadden, president of the Yakima County Development Association, stated recently.

McFadden calls the district a “little port district that does big things.”

 Jim Sewell is one of three Port of Grandview commissioners, and he says the progress isn’t an overnight success, but a product of months and years of preparation.

“During the recession the port took the opportunity to do a lot of groundwork, to prepare our sites so we were ready when the economy started to rebound,” Sewell explained.

The preparation included contracting with the Austin Company at the beginning of this year to get the port’s sites certified and on the fast track for development.

“They put you through the ropes. They make it as if they are looking to locate here and go through all the environmental reviews, utilities, seismic activity…everything,” Sewell said of the Austin Company’s work.

Sewell said another help for the development is that he and the other two commissioners, Ron Grow and Richard Shenyer, have been traveling to trade shows throughout the west. The same goes for Jessica Hansen, the port’s executive director.

“We’re more aggressive in our marketing,” Sewell said. “We’ve been proactive and it’s starting to pay off.”

Looking ahead, Sewell says bids will close next week on the cul de sac project for the Pallet Place.

“We should be in position to award the contract at our first meeting in September,” Sewell said.

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