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Yearly Archives: 2020

Cowlitz Container outgrows current facility at Port of Kalama, expands lease from 10,000 to 35,000 square foot facility

The thriving local company signs three-year lease at Kalama River Industrial Park, adds additional square footage to meet growing demand

Cowlitz Container & Die Cutting, a Pacific Northwest packaging, die cutting and bindery company, has signed a lease for 33,000 square feet of warehouse and an additional 2,129 office space at the Port of Kalama. The 49-year old company, which has been a 10,000 square foot tenant of the Port since 2016, now expands and consolidates its Port leasehold to accommodate growing demand for packaging solutions.

Cowlitz Container opened in 1971 as an upstart die company providing die-cutting services to local businesses in the corrugated and folding carton sectors of packaging. Rapid regional growth influenced further expansion of the packaging business—and with even greater demand today, the company enjoys robust growth serving the market for packaging and shrink-wrapping.

“The Port of Kalama is an ideal location for Cowlitz Container to expand its presence in the Pacific Northwest and to serve a growing customer base in the region because of its proximity to transportation routes and the availability of qualified labor,” says Ralph Clark, Cowlitz Container and Die Cutting. “We cannot say enough about the team at the Port—the staff is so supportive of our business needs and just terrific local partners.”

Cowlitz Container is among a growing number of industries and businesses who have found the Port of Kalama an ideal location to grow their businesses. The Port boasts an Industrial Park with buildings ideal for manufacturing, technology, storage and many other industry sectors. The new Spencer Creek Business Park is ready for mixed-use development on the east side of I-5. Sixteen acres of public riverfront parks stand out as popular recreational destinations for both locals and tourists.  Port officials cite several advantages for businesses like Cowlitz Container to expand operations in Kalama including:

  • No state corporate or personal income taxes
  • Collaborative, business-friendly environment
  • Affordable/competitive rates
  • Accessibility to all modes of transportation
  • Quality buildings, land on river/rail/Interstate
  • Quality of life, slow-paced, beautiful, quiet, hometown feel
  • Proximity to international airport at PDX—just 30 minutes away

 

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Look how far you’ve grown, Port of Kalama!

As we celebrate 100 years at the Port of Kalama, let’s honor the visionaries before us. Their thoughtful planning and preparation brought us the success we now share.

We gratefully carry their dreams forward in ways that will benefit the entire region for decades to come. This vision brings with it thousands of jobs, economic vitality, support for our community—and opportunities for all who live here in Cowlitz County.

Kalama is our home. Like you, we are stewards of the land and responsible for preserving its incredible natural beauty.

To continued success for our prosperous and beautiful community—cheers!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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It’s the place to be!

Look how far you’ve grown, Port of Kalama!

The 1990s exploded with infrastructure improvements that continue to attract new businesses and critical manufacturing facilities.

The arrival of the Australian company BHP Steel in the mid-90s—now called SteelScape—became the anchor for a new, local steel sector attracting other steel businesses to Kalama.

Next, a huge expansion, the Kalama River Industrial Park opened in 2000, ushering in the Port’s construction of 6 new buildings—an investment that reeled in even MORE light industrial tenants, including a glass bottle manufacturer.

The Port’s nurturing of industry and investment in infrastructure is a significant example of how it fulfills its core mission—to use capital investment for economic development, create jobs for the people of Kalama and recreational amenities for the community.

Check out our new video! 

Way to pay it forward! Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Let’s play!

What doesn’t Kalama have?

Thanks to the Port of Kalama this beautiful stretch of the Columbia River is a playground for the community and tourists alike.

Iconic totem poles have beckoned travelers on I-5 to Kalama’s riverfront Marine Park for decades. Its bike paths and beaches signaled the Port’s new era of recreational development when it opened in 1974.

A few years later the Marina opened. Now with over 200 slips and state-of-the-art facilities the marina is a hub for leisure activity.

The Port continues its mission to develop outdoor venues for playtime and entertainment—and last year they even opened the Westin Amphitheater for concerts and other public events.

When it comes to recreation, Kalama’s got it all.

Thank you, Port of Kalama! Happy Centennial!

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If you build it, they will come.

If you build it, they will come. And come they did. Grains. Down the river, through Kalama and out to feed the world.

The Port of Kalama’s grain elevator was the accomplishment of Port Manager Ed Hendrickson. His new framework for business at the Port of Kalama would build facilities and lease them out to private industry. Brilliant! Hendrickson led the Port for 23 years, from 1950.

‘Where river, rail and road meet’ was a great slogan and good for business at the Port of Kalama.

Hendrickson shaped much of the waterfront, laying groundwork for the Port’s marina and spearheading the development of Marine Park. His successes provided revenue for future economic development. 

Check out the video!

And look at you now!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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All hail the USS Oregon!

The USS Oregon—of her many heroic feats, pulling Kalama out from the Great Depression is a local triumph.

After serving in several major wars, the Oregon came out of retirement when iron was needed for WWII.  She was towed to the Port of Kalama in March 1943 to be salvaged.

That launched a flurry of robust economic activity as workers were hired to break down the ship and repurpose its parts.

It was a boon for Kalama, patriotic and profitable—and you’re still going strong!

Check out our entertaining video on the USS Oregon!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Vroom! Vroom!

The post Depression era found Kalama in a great position to prosper, due to the planning of its leaders in forming the Port.

The Port of Kalama stood ready to rev up the local economy with help from Federal New Deal Programs of the 1930s.

Completion of the Bonneville Dam in 1937 by the Army Corps of Engineers brought clean, low-cost hydroelectric power to the region and also mitigated the Columbia River flooding. Bonus!

Stability for the Port of Kalama attracted new industries, such as grain, and chemical companies in addition to wood products. Many of the businesses attracted from the 40s to the 60s remain important tenants of the Port today—thank you, TEMCO, RSG Gram, and Emerald Kalama!

One hundred years later, you’re better than ever.

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Port of Kalama is born!

Quite the Renaissance man, Kalama resident Hite Imus not only led the move to create the Port of Kalama but served as the city’s first mayor, county clerk, prosecuting attorney, and ran the Land Office. He also founded, owned and wrote the editorial page for the Kalama Bulletin for 40 years. Whew!

Imus, along with civic leaders JG Gruver and FL Jenkins, put their plan for an economic engine into action and the Port of Kalama was inaugurated in April 1920, with 600 waterfront acres and a commercial dock that served maritime industries.

Check out this entertaining video! 

100 years later you’re still going strong!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Discover! Port of Kalama named third largest bulk exporter on the West Coast, 16th largest in the nation

The Port of Kalama has again been named the third largest bulk exporter on the West Coast right after Los Angeles and Long Beach, California according to the US Census Bureau and USA Trade Online. Handling well over 13 million metric tons of bulk commodities, the Port of Kalama weighs in as one of the West Coast’s largest exporters.

The Columbia River is the third largest grain export gateway in the world, exporting more than 50% of the nation’s wheat. Today, 50 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Columbia River. The Port of Kalama plays a key role in the Northwest’s robust export trade industry.

The Port of Kalama is home to 30 industries employing more than 1,200 people, who choose the Port for its superior customer service and business support.

Honoring 100 years of service to the nation’s booming export business

As they celebrate 100 years of service, the Port of Kalama is no stranger to international trade, commerce and transportation. Port of Kalama enjoys a rich history that weaves through time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation and commerce like bulk exports continues to be the community’s mainstay today.

On Monday, December 22, 1919, a group of Kalama residents met at the Kalama Business Men’s Club to discuss the formation of a port district. By May, 1920, the Port of Kalama was born of a local election process.

Today highway, rail and water meet in Kalama at some of the most efficient transportation networks in the country. Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically—ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community.

Currently, there are 75 public port districts in Washington. Large and small, east and west, Washington’s ports are active in many different areas of economic development, providing jobs and economic stimulation for their communities.

The Port of Kalama is honored to be recognized as such a significant player in the nation’s booming export trade industry.

 

 

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Port of Kalama prepares for demolition of building formerly home to Absolute Concrete Colors

The Port dismantles the building to make way for redevelopment and beautification of the area

The Port of Kalama will demolish the building formerly occupied by Absolute Concrete Colors starting the week of August 17, 2020. The building is located at 1265 N. Hendrickson Drive, just off exit 30.

The building was originally built in 1985 for EZE Products and was most recently home to Absolute Concrete Colors. The building also housed North Star Yachts as a manufacturing facility.

The soil under the building was contaminated with hydrocarbons during its use. Most of the site was cleaned up by the operator that caused the contamination, but the area beneath the building was difficult to treat.  While the levels are modest, they still exceed state standards. Demolition of the building and removal of the concrete floor will allow work to commence on this persistent issue.

“In addition to facilitating the cleanup, this building has served its purpose for industrial tenants and is now obsolete to serve today’s mixed use and light industrial needs,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We are discussing plans for redevelopment and beautification of this entrance to the Port once the site has been restored.”

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