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Port of Pasco buys 300 acres for future industrial center

The Port of Pasco has bought 300 acres for $6.5 million to develop a new industrial park.

The port finalized the deal Oct. 31, buying the property from Balcom and Moe Inc. The land is about a mile north of the port-developed Pasco Processing Center off Highway 395.

“In 2018, the port sold the last large land parcel at the Pasco Processing Center. We are very excited to add this new property to the port’s land portfolio as the next premier industrial park in our region,” said Jean Ryckman, president of the port commission, in a statement.

The land will remain in agricultural production while the port begins site planning. It will gradually be converted to industrial use as new businesses move in. The port expects full buildout to take up to 20 years.

“We have been searching for the right land for quite some time. The new property checks all the boxes with excellent road access to Highway 395 and the BNSF rail network, natural gas on site, and electrical transmission already in place. It’s just a perfect fit for heavy industrial development and we are grateful to Balcom and Moe for working with the port to complete the sale,” said Randy Hayden, the port’s executive director, in a release.

The port’s vision for the property is to replicate the success of the Pasco Processing Center.

The center was a collaborative project between the port (site development), city of Pasco (industrial wastewater system) and Franklin PUD (new substation) that began in the early 1990s.

The purpose of the center was to recruit food processors to Pasco for economic diversification. The project collaboration won several awards, including the 2016 Visionary Award from the Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame, according to the port.

Several of the area’s largest processors now call the area home including Twin City Foods, Syngenta, Kenyon Zero Storage and Reser’s Fine Foods.

The port will again look to collaborate with Franklin County, the city and Franklin PUD to develop the new property. The port expects the new industrial center will see many clients similar to those at the Pasco Processing Center, but officials also expect new industries will be attracted to the available assets.

Funding to buy the land came from the port’s Economic Development Opportunity Fund and a $2.25 million loan from the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund Board. The purchase price includes water rights, which can be used for agricultural and industrial purposes.

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