Final large parcel sold at Pasco Processing Center

By Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 20, 2014 

The Port of Pasco has sold the last large piece of land left in the Pasco Processing Center, a wildly successful economic development effort by the port and city of Pasco that built on the Mid-Columbia's agricultural strengths.

The $726,000 land sale closed last week on the last 16.7-acre parcel left in the 20-year-old park off Highway 395.

Kenyon Zero Storage Inc. of Grandview plans to build a cold storage facility at the processing center near Americold, JR Simplot and Budweiser. Officials said demand for cold storage appears to have increased.

"This will fill a regional need," said Sam Good, the port's director of properties and development.

The company told port officials they plan to build up to 357,000 square feet of warehouse space, likely in phases, Good said. There is a potential for about 10 to 36 new jobs.

The company already has warehouses in Yakima and Prosser, and ships worldwide using rail, containers and trucks, according to its website.

The processing center's transportation network has been part of the area's appeal, Good said. It's adjacent to a major highway and served by rail.

Port of Pasco Executive Director Randy Hayden said, "It's been a huge economic success for our community and our ag industry."

The 250-acre Pasco Processing Center got its first business in 1995 when JR Simplot opened a frozen vegetable processing plant.

To make the processing center attractive to food processors, Pasco built a water reuse facility to treat wastewater from companies. The port extended street, rail, sewer and water to the food processing park off Highway 395.

When Syngenta bought property to open a $42 million seed processing facility in 2009, the port estimated the project brought $150 million worth of development to the area, 500 year-round jobs and another 500 seasonal jobs.

The Port of Pasco is working with other agencies to come up with a vision for the next economic development project in Franklin County. Hayden said it may or may not feature food processing.

Port commissioners decided last week to partially reserve the revenue from the land sale to go toward buying more land for another economic development effort, Good said. There is no site chosen at this point.

The port still has about 10 acres and smaller pieces of land available at the neighboring Foster Wells Business Park, Good said.

-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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