Port of Olympia holds public workshop for New Market Industrial Campus development

This YouTube video is the recording of the August 5, 2021 New Market Industrial Campus Development Agreement Community Workshop.
Courtesy of City of Tumwater

To address community concerns, the Port of Olympia in partnership with the city of Tumwater recently held an online community workshop regarding a proposed development agreement with Panattoni Development for the New Market Industrial Campus.

Port of Olympia Executive Director Sam Gibboney discussed the proposed development agreement during the public workshop with Tumwater city staff yesterday. The agreement would allow Panattoni, a commercial real estate company, to develop 199 acres of port property. However, Gibboney noted that there is currently no existing document for the proposal since the developer has yet to initiate a review process for the site developments or apply for building permits.

Lease option agreement

Panattoni and the Port of Olympia recently agreed to a 10-year option agreement. The staff previously explained that the agreement does not function as a lease, and serves more as a reservation. Once they start developing, leases typically carry 55-year terms with future extensions.

The development agreement would also contain other clauses to allow the developer to invest in building infrastructure and give them enough time to recoup these investments.

In terms of zoning regulations, the proposed project is identified as an airport-related industrial zone. All of the property is also under terms dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration which limits the use of the area.

To provide security to the developer, the city of Tumwater intends to grant Panattoni a 20-year “vesting agreement” that confirms the city won’t enact changes its zoning during that period.

Project details

The developers expect to build a mix of commercial, business, and light-industrial buildings.  The buildings will vary in size to accommodate a diversity of businesses.

Examples of the possible structures include a manufacturing facility. Gibboney noted that Panattoni shared that there is already a manufacturing company that is interested in building a facility along Center Street.

Aside from building infrastructures, the plan also includes creating a recreational trail for bikes and pedestrians along the west section of the property. Trees will also line the road along Center Street to mimic a campus setting.

A part of the proposed development agreement provides the city of Tumwater with 10acres for the creation of a community center.

Several documents related to this project are available on this page of the Port of Olympia’s website.

No ponds

Tumwater city staff requested the developer not to build large ponds within the project site. This typically aligns with FAA requests too, as large ponds attract birds, which are unsafe for airport-related properties. In addition, there were also concerns about the possible increase in truck traffic along Kimmey Street near Bush Middle School . Gibboney addressed the concerns noting that the developer had already proposed a layout that directs traffic to the north of the campus going to the I-5 and the Tumwater Boulevard.

Economic impact

Once completed, the port shared that the project would create approximately 1,750 to 2,000 jobs. The new jobs would provide $124 - $163 million in new wages and $354 million in economic production.

How it started

The project is in line with the Port of Olympia Vision 2050 which serves as a guide on what the community would like to see in the next 30 years. The plan allows the port to identify the necessary investments that they needed to make.

With this, the Port has looked for interested developers who would like to make the developments that were indicated in their Vision 2050. Panattoni initially expressed interest regarding the property and discussions for an option agreement began in early 2020.

Currently, the discussion for the proposed development is only limited to port staff. Gibboney shared that they would forward the concerns and feedback from the public workshop to the council and commissions for consideration.

The Port is scheduled to issue an action regarding the lease development on August 23. Gibboney also noted that the Tumwater City Council might schedule a hearing and action sometime around September.


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