Real Estate Planning and Development Top Port’s 2016 Community Investments


Submitted by The Port of Olympia 

Investments in Port-owned real estate in Tumwater and Olympia are among the major projects in the 2016 budget approved by the Commission on Nov. 23rd. Also included in the budget are funds for the construction of a fuel dock at Swantown Marina.

The master planning process for the Port’s Tumwater properties began in early 2015 and is expected to be completed in first quarter 2016. At that time, the Port will have the information necessary to guide future growth of New Market Industrial Campus and Tumwater Town Center. These areas comprise over 500 acres and may be developed for commercial, industrial or other uses.

Key partners on this project include City of Tumwater and contractors Shea Carr Jewel (SCJ) Alliance and Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC). SCJ has studied the land’s physical and environmental characteristics related to development and TRPC has been leading a public process to learn community preferences for the area.

The repurposing of Tumwater Town Center aligns with the work citizens did at the public meetings for the master planning process. Work will begin in 2016 to bring these buildings up to date and create an attractive campus for businesses, customers and employees.

The master planning process for the remaining Port Peninsula properties begins in 2016. This will include primarily undeveloped real estate in the East Bay, Swantown and NorthPoint districts. It will also include a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Port Peninsula.

The proposed fuel dock at Swantown Marina is currently in the environmental review and permitting processes which could be concluded in spring 2016. Once all permits have been granted, staff will ask the Commission for permission to bid construction of the project. This is the decision point for the Commission.

Commission President George Barner said that the budget itself is a plan and is not the final say on the larger projects.

“For example,” said Barner, the budget includes funds to construct the fuel dock. But the Commission must first approve the Port’s going out for a construction bid. That is the point where the Commission decides whether or not to go forward with the project.”

The Commission approved the Port’s 2016 tax levy which increased to include new construction. To the average Thurston County property owner, this will result in an annual increase in Port tax of 52 cents.

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