Just 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon, business and community development are booming at the Port of Kalama. With more than 30 companies, employing over 850 people, the Port of Kalama offers prime industrial land and exceptional move-in-ready industrial buildings. The Port’s sweeping riverfront industrial acreage with easy access to all modes of transportation are attracting new and emerging businesses.
But that’s not all. As it prepares for the Cowlitz County ‘Port Report’ at the quarterly meeting of the Kelso Longview Chamber November 12, the Port of Kalama celebrates an extensive list of awards, recognition, community infrastructure projects, new contracts and acclaim as an approachable, business-friendly climate for businesses of all sizes.
A round-up of recent news headlines from the Port of Kalama tells the tale of economic development, civic pride and a prosperous business community.
Port of Kalama welcomes new business
- The Port completed an agreement with Northwest Innovation Works to build a $1.8 billion natural gas to methanol conversion facility that is expected to create approximately 200 new jobs when completed. The company recently moved its corporate headquarters and operations to the Port.
- One of the Pacific Northwest’s largest service providers to the forest products industry, Christiansen Enterprises LLC, grew 30% a year since moving to Port of Kalama in 2013 and expanded its facilities to include fabrication. The company signed a lease for 20,000 square foot facility, added fabrication services and hired seven new employees.
- Eco-friendly corrugated crate manufacturer, Depin Inc., moves operations from Salem, Oregon to Kalama, leasing 12,000 square feet to expand operations between key markets, Portland and Seattle. The company has hired 20 new employees.
- All American Container recently extended the lease on their 33,000 square-foot warehouse at the Kalama River Industrial Park. One of the country’s largest suppliers of glass, plastic, and metal containers, AAC serves local, regional—even international industries.
“Kalama’s location is excellent, with a deep berth and easy access to the shipping channel,” said Simon Zhang, chief executive officer, Northwest Innovation Works. “From the very first meeting, the Port of Kalama demonstrated that they are open for business. They are committed to their mission of generating economic growth for Kalama and have been excellent partners, introducing us to the community and working with us as we go through the permitting process and move toward construction.”
Port of Kalama infrastructure improvements serve community
- The Port’s much-anticipated 24-acre recreational facility, Haydu Park, opened in July. New baseball & softball fields, soccer fields, a horse riding arena, restrooms & concession stand, tennis courts, basketball courts, on-site parking, and an expo area available for reservations by the general public are just some of the premier features of Haydu Park. The facility also includes trails and access to several thousand feet of Kalama River frontage for fishing, swimming and boating.
- The Port of Kalama was recently awarded a federal grant by the US Department of Homeland Security to enhance security infrastructure at the North Port Marine Terminal with video surveillance cameras, increased lighting at facilities, installation of new fencing and automated gates.
- Master planning of East Port is complete and over time will usher in the multi-use Spencer Creek Business Center for a mix of light industrial, office, commercial and retail uses.
- Cowlitz County granted $30,000 for the Port of Kalama Trail Improvement, which enables the Port to improve pedestrian and vehicle separation barriers and meridians along West Marine Drive.
- Last year the Port of Kalama saw Temco’s completion of a $200 million renovation of their grain elevator while the Port managed the construction of new Administrative Offices and Interpretive Center.
“With the Port’s recent business growth comes a higher volume of traffic which makes enhanced infrastructure important for all our tenants,” says Randy Sweet, president, Port of Kalama Commission. “The dedicated staff at the Port of Kalama is consistently seeking partnerships and grant opportunities to better serve our community and businesses. It is these kinds of grants and programs that enhance regional economic development overall.”
Port of Kalama honored with awards for economic vitality
- The Port of Kalama has been honored with the Pathways 2020 Community Champions Award for Economic Vitality. The ‘economic vitality’ category awards organizations that excel at creating jobs, employee wellness, training, employable skills, new or expanding business, transportation, financial security, reducing poverty, and higher wages.
- The Washington State Department of Ecology has awarded the Port of Kalama Wastewater Treatment Plant with the 2014 Outstanding Performance Award. Port of Kalama is recognized as one of the top performers for full compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
- Port of Kalama—along with strategic partner City of Kalama—was recognized for their collaboration on the annexation of 260 acres of Port property for both business and recreational purposes. The annexation makes way for the Spencer Creek Business Park and the recently completed recreational facility, Haydu Park.
- The Western Dredging Association (WEDA) has awarded the Port of Kalama with the top 2014 Environmental Excellence Award in the navigation dredging category. The Port was recognized with the top honor for the TEMCO Berth Maintenance Dredging and In-water Flow-lane Placement project.
“The Port’s mission is to ‘induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and enhance public recreational opportunities.’ These projects collectively further every aspect of the Port’s mission to contribute to an economically thriving, successful and livable region,” says Randy Sweet, president, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners. “We are so honored to provide such substantial enhancements that will serve the Port’s business community for years to come.”
Next up: Port of Kalama makes way for commercial development
The Port of Kalama has commenced development of the 70-acre Spencer Creek Business Park, located north of Kalama River Road right off of Interstate 5. The Spencer Creek Business Park will support a mix of light industrial, office, commercial and retail uses including:
- Light industrial
- Convenience store
Preliminary work at Spencer Creek Business Park includes filling and grading, installation of storm water treatment systems, and road improvements to make way for new commercial development. While East Port will be built out over many years, business park construction and operational activities are projected to support more than 1,000 jobs and millions of dollars in new local economic activity.