Commerce invests $2.5 million to accelerate development of six rural industrial sites
State grants aim to attract, expand manufacturing activity and jobs in communities across the state
OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce recently awarded $2.5 million in grants to six projects that will expand the state’s portfolio of project-ready industrial sites and incentivize private investment. With help from this state funding, publicly owned sites become more competitive for business attraction nationally and globally.
These one-time grants support engineering studies, permitting and site due diligence activities designed to accelerate development of manufacturing activity, creating economic opportunity and jobs, particularly in rural communities. The Building Economic Strength Through Manufacturing (BEST) Act passed by the 2021 Washington Legislature, provides a framework for the state to add 300,000 new manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years. These grants help support that goal.
Each of the following projects was awarded $416,000:
- East Omak (Okanogan County): Site planning, a corridor study, and rail, water, wastewater and electrical grid assessments will be conducted by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. The tribally designated land has partial construction underway, and further development will focus on manufacturing, biomass and other industry sectors on this 386-acre site.
- Lummi Indian Business Park (Whatcom County): Environmental and transportation studies and geotechnical analysis will be conducted by the Lummi Indian Business Council. The site shows potential for industries such as solar manufacturing, which the awardee has identified as a key recruitment area for this 118-acre site.
- Midvale Industrial Park (Yakima County): Surveying, an engineering study and design plans will be conducted to further enhance the project, which the Port of Sunnyside leads. Recent project interests in this area include vital industries such as food processing and biogas production within the 511-acre site.
- Tri-Cities Airport (Franklin County): Due diligence study and engineering master plan for property around the airport will be conducted by the Port of Pasco. Aerospace and advanced manufacturing opportunities are of key consideration for this 460-acre site within the rural county.
- Wallula Gap Business Park (Walla Walla County): Surveying, parcel subdivision, design plans, permitting and reports will be conducted to support the Port of Walla Walla’s initiatives for this 1,380-acre site, which aims to generate significant impact for the community.
- Watershed Business Park (Skagit County): Engineering design, permitting, site grading, and binding site plans will be conducted in support of the Port of Skagit. Diverse industry interests and potential development include several of the state’s key sectors within this 123-acre site.
“Manufacturing is an important part of growing an equitable state economy with family wage jobs that strengthen communities,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “This funding for pre-development planning adds competitive value to potential sites, encouraging additional private and local investment that will bring these projects, and the jobs they will create, online as quickly as possible.”
“This grant will provide us the opportunity to more fully develop a 500-acre industrial site where several potential tenants have expressed interest,” said Jay Hester, Executive Director, at the Port of Sunnyside. “Together, with additional investment, we’ll be in a stronger position to create new employment opportunities within our community and help achieve the broader manufacturing goals of Washington state.”
“This new funding will bring our 118-acre industrial site project closer to its realized potential,” said Sean Lawrence, Director of the Office of Economic Policy at Lummi Nation, “With this support, we will continue our goal of generating family-wage jobs and bringing new, often innovative industries to the area that align well with our values and enhance growth within our region.”
To help businesses locate sites for expansion, Commerce offers an online property search tool with available development properties and buildings throughout the state. Learn more about all of Washington state’s key industry sectors and business services at www.choosewashington.com.