One of the nation’s leading cold storage companies is building a second outpost in the Mid-Columbia.
Portland-based Henningsen Cold Storage will build a $30 million cold storage facility in the Port of Grandview’s Byam Business Park. The company has a similar facility in Richland.
The company will pay $1.3 million for about 26 acres of ready-to-build land near Interstate 82 and Stover Road, close to the Mid Valley Chrysler dealership. The port announced the deal Thursday.
The port developed Byam Business Park, including infrastructure, and marketed it to food processors and related businesses after having it certified by the Austin Co. The Austin Co. is a consulting firm that scrutinizes industrial properties for on behalf of would-be builders.
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Jim Sewell, chairman of the Port of Grandview board, said officials handed Henningsen officials a flash drive with Austin’s research when they expressed interest in the property back in 2014. That research included environmental assessments.
Henningsen will build the project in three phases, beginning with a 142,000-square-foot warehouse. Sewell said Henningsen wants to immediately start building.
We were able to bring it all together in the last few months.
Jim Sewell, Port of Grandview board chairman
Henningsen’s decision to invest in Grandview is a major economic boost for the small community, which has about 11,200 residents, Sewell said. It will add millions to the community’s tax base, employ skilled operators at family-wage jobs, and pay utility taxes on the eletricity it purchases from another Portland-based company, Pacific Power.
The number of jobs has not been disclosed.
Most important, it will provide the region’s food processors with an additional cold storage distribution hub to get their products to customers.
“It is a vital part of the food chain,” Sewell said.
Henningsen operates more than 53 million cubic feet of refrigerated space in distribution centers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Its Richland center is near the Preferred Freezer Services warehouse in north Richland. Preferred, one of the largest cold storage facilities in the country, chiefly serves Lamb Weston’s frozen potato business.
The port, working with the Yakima County Economic Development Association, or New Vision, kept in touch with Henningsen following the 2014 contact as the company worked through its siting process.
“We were able to bring it all together in the last few months,” Sewell said.
The port and New Vision will work with Henningsen to determine if the project can get business incentives offered by the state. The deal does not specifically address incentives, Sewell said.
Henningsen is a fifth-generation family-owned business helmed by chairman and president Michael Henningsen Jr.