Port of Kalama, a significant player in the northwest economy, offers acres of available industrial land, office space and no state, corporate or personal incomes taxes – just some of the reasons companies are choosing to expand there.


The Portland, Oregon market has an inadequate supply of ready industrial land to attract new and growing businesses according to a recent analysis conducted by Group McKenzie, a design and planning firm, in conjunction with the Portland Business Alliance. According to the report summary, Portland does not have a supply of industrial land that is readily available to attract and cultivate employers and help the region grow and thrive. But just a short drive to the north, the Port of Kalama is eagerly open for business and bending over backwards to welcome new companies to its industrial park and riverfront industrial properties.

A small town with a rich history, just a 30 minute drive from Portland and its international airport (PDX), Kalama is attracting business attention for good reason. While its regional neighbors are challenged with a shortage of readily available industrial land to invite new companies, expansion and economic growth, Kalama boasts 70 acres of prime shovel-ready industrial land, a new Industrial Park and numerous riverside assets and amenities for businesses of all sizes.

The Group Mackenzie study confirmed that large industrial employers need a minimum of 25 acres for new development or expanded operations, and that they must be able to break ground within 180 days. Kalama, which considers itself a regional player and contributor to the Pacific Northwest economy, has the shovel-ready acreage available now.

“The Port serves numbers of companies and is 100% ready to serve other businesses and industries looking to expand and grow in a remarkable location,” said Lanny Cawley, executive director, Port of Kalama. “Many of our clients not only like the location and available land for expansion, but the state and county business and tax incentives are a real draw here.”

The Port of Kalama is consistently ranked as one of the top five West Coast Ports for total volume of bulk commodity exported annually. A strong marine terminal port, Kalama prides itself on being extremely efficient. A new Industrial Park and acres of shovel-ready heavy and light industrial land are ideal for manufacturing, technology, warehousing and many other uses. A 5-acre Marine Park stands out as a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Kalama is already banking on these features and more as it attracts new businesses to its amenity-rich industrial properties. Port officials cite several advantages for businesses to settle in Kalama including:

Property-ready sites for quick development
No state, personal or corporate income tax
Collaborative, business friendly environment
Affordable/competitive rates
Accessibility to all modes of transportation
Quality buildings, industrial land for lease on river/rail/Interstate
Quality of life, beautiful hometown feel
The Port of Kalama’s Industrial Park is move-in ready complete with amenities, infrastructure and transportation access. Incentives are generous and include job training programs and turnkey infrastructure ready for business.

“We operate an import/export business and chose the Port of Kalama because it is so centrally located between Portland and Seattle on the I-5 corridor and it’s an excellent location for our ocean freight needs,” said Mitch McClannahan, president, Karlington Electric Inc. “Any business considering a strategic move should know that Kalama is an excellent place to grow. It’s really one of the best-kept-secrets in SW Washington.”

Incentive programs are in place and tax benefits all begin with the word “no”–no state, corporate or personal income tax, no state personal capital gain tax, and no inventory taxes. In addition, manufacturers locating or expanding to Cowlitz County are exempt from sales tax on construction and manufacturing equipment purchases. Thanks to Kalama’s mild climate, construction can start anytime, all year round.

“If you are looking for a business-friendly, innovative and holistic approach to economic development, the Port of Kalama is where you want to be,” says Ted Sprague, executive director, Cowlitz County Economic Development Council, (EDC). “They really understand what businesses are looking for in this economic climate and are ready and willing to become their Port tenants’ ally. I think that’s really what sets the Port of Kalama apart from other commercial property managers. The port is a cornerstone of the community here and businesses, citizens, government alike feel their contributions.”

“The Port of Kalama is in a great location,” says Renee Ramey, marketing director of Steelscape, Inc. “For us it’s the diversity of transportation. We work with raw materials and utilize shipping, I-5 and rail. Plus, Kalama’s tax incentives have worked for us. And the work force is a huge draw; we have quite a few residents working for us.”

One of the more pleasant surprises at the Port of Kalama is the variety of fun found in its expansive backyard. Nearby activities abound–fishing, hiking, kayaking, waterskiing, swimming, boating, skiing, hunting, camping and if one gets tired of all that, get on a horse and ride. Mt. St. Helens makes an impressive backdrop as you head out into the woods.

The Port’s natural beauty has long been an attraction for tourists and day-trippers. Now businesses are being lured by its treasures.

The marriage of critical infrastructure, expansive industrial properties for businesses and the recreational treats where two rivers merge together is the result of careful, thoughtful planning. The Port has been instrumental in making sure that the beauty that drew its first settlers remains intact for future settlers – business and otherwise. Temperate, environmentally conscious, business compatible and collaborative, the Port of Kalama is a golden nugget off the freeway, railway and the river, and as John Kalama discovered, a wonderful place to stay.

River Cam

Sponsored by McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge and Port of Kalama
Kalama, WA
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