Port of Astoria expansion stalls

| Print |  Email
Sunday, February 01, 2009
TonguePoint.jpg Tongue Point is three miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River.

PHOTO COURTESY OF GVA KIDDER MATHEWS

ASTORIA It’s an ideal industrial site for a municipal port looking to expand: 30 acres of paved tarmac, five concrete piers, warehouses, hangers, and a deep-water channel that leads straight to the Columbia River. It’s a site that one state official describes as unique on the entire West Coast. Price tag: $7 million.

But for the debt-saddled Port of Astoria, that may be too much. And its inability to come up with the funds threatens what would be the largest expansion by a coastal port in several years.

Tongue Point is a tree-covered elbow of land about three miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River. It was used during World War II as a site for mothballed Navy ships. Since then, individual users have temporally occupied portions of the property.

Scott Fraser, an agent with GVA Kidder Mathews, is selling Tongue Point for its owner, the Montana-based Washington Group. He says the land has been for sale for about seven years. A possible buyer, which Fraser wouldn’t name but is presumably the port, recently signed a non-binding letter of intent to buy.

That’s all the information known about the possible sale. Because of agreements with Washington Group and companies that are potential occupants, the port cannot reveal how much it would earn from leases, what capital improvements must be done, or even the appraised value of the property.

Port executive director Jack Crider maintains an upbeat tone. Right now it’s too early for the port to say where purchasing funds could come from. Crider says he’s confident the site will generate steady revenue since the agency will fill Tongue Point with smaller tenants — he referred to them as “low-hanging fruit” — rather than one very large company.

According to Mike Robison, Clatsop County finance director, the county is considering using video lottery funds in a way it’s never done before: giving the port $200,000 to kick-start the Tongue Point purchase.

ABRAHAM HYATT



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

The Carbon Calculus

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Carbon pricing is gaining momentum in Oregon, sparking concern for energy-intensive businesses — but also opportunity to expand a homespun green economy.


Read more...

Raising the Stakes

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

The 2014 Bend Venture Conference set a record for the most cash, investments and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Investments in the six winning companies exceeded $1 million. The 11th annual conference was hosted by Economic Development of Central Oregon.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS