“We see this consolidation as an opportunity to bring two extremely strong, competent organizations together to become a premier economic development organization for the state,” said Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson.
“We have an opportunity to not only serve our community in providing jobs, but to also be a model for the state in how rural economic development can work and serve the citizens,” Nelson said.
The Business Park formally tendered its assets and liabilities to the Port Oct. 2, and on Oct. 9, the Port accepted the offer. It plans to operate Satsop Business Park as a division of its operations, similar to how the Port operates the Industrial Properties Division, the Westport Marina and the Bowerman Airport. The Port is currently seeking applications for a Director of Business Development for Satsop Business Park. (See boxed story below.)
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished the last 13 years, taking a former nuclear power plant site and transforming it into a thriving business park,” said PDA board chair Steve Poler. “The infrastructure here is complete; there are more than 40 businesses, an active training center, a thriving forest and a healthy balance sheet.
“It’s not often a board votes itself out of existence,” he added. “But in this case, it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it. It’s like we’ve nurtured Satsop Business Park up to this point, but we believe that for future growth, the connections and the property marketing ability that the Port of Grays Harbor can offer will open up Grays Harbor County and this whole region to more economic growth.
“The easiest thing would have been to stay status quo and hire a new CEO, but I’m proud of our board for being forward-thinking and doing what we believe is best for our community,”
According to the consolidation agreement, all the current contracts, leases and agreements will be honored and all the Park’s employees will be retained.
During the next two months, the Port and the Park will work with current customers, tenants and other partners to make introductions and ensure a smooth transition.