A Community Newspaper for the way we live

By Jim Kight, NW Connection

Troutdale has recently hired a new city manager that previously served as the municipal court judge for some 27 years. Prior to serving as judge, Ray Young, 57 was the prosecuting attorney for the city. He is well connected, understands the city, and is the obvious choice to help manage the city.

Driving down Interstate 84 going west bound I noticed construction projects underway and projects continue as you head over to Marine Drive. Troutdale has divided their commercial zones from residential by locating the majority of the commercial properties to the north of Interstate 84. In a recent interview, I asked Young if he could give us an idea of current projects and jobs that could be available in the future.

What currently is building built in downtown Troutdale?

Ray Young is hitting the ground running as the new city administrator for Troutdale. Serving first as city prosecutor, and municipal judge for many years with a bent to creativity in his sentences, he uses those same skills sets in managing a growing city.

Bremik Construction is finishing up the condominiums on the Discovery block on 2nd street. Although these housing units were built as speculation housing they have proved so popular that last phase has sold out before they were finished. That leaves the empty lots on main street undeveloped but the word is that they are looking to start construction soon on one or both of those properties.

Recently there was the announcement of Amazon building on the TRIP property. Tell us about that.

The Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park currently the home of FedEx is going to have a new neighbor. Amazon has purchased 80 acres to build a $180 million-dollar facility for up to 2,000 employees. This company expects to be operational by fall of 2018. We envision ancillary facilities like box manufactures and others to locate near Amazon. There could be far more than 2,000 jobs once Amazon is up and running. There is an additional building under consideration next to Sundial Road which will have 300,000 square feet once completed. Lots to the east of the Amazon location are currently being prepared as building sites in expectation there will be a new business locating there. There are very few large parcels available in east county for development.

What tax incentives were given to Amazon in order to seal the deal?

The TRIP property, a former super fund site because of an aluminum reduction plant, has a 5-year moratorium on property tax except for the city of Troutdale. All other tax entities will forego taxes on the improvements until that time. Troutdale will receive approximately $500,000 a year in property taxes. Amazon is also required to pay 125% of minimum wage for their employees. They also will provide education, training, health benefits and vacation as part of their requirements for the enterprise zone. We think it is a good deal for Troutdale residents and east county. The closer to home and work is a direct benefit to employees in time and helps reduce the cost of commuting.

Close by on Marine Drive there is land being cleared. Who is going in there?

With the scenic vista of the Columbia Gorge with Mt. Hood in the background Amazon is under construction to provide from 1200 to 2000 job opportunities. Great deal for local commuters

You are referring to NW Freight, which once their building is completed at a $3 million-dollar expansion, will have 20 to 25 employees. Further to the east and adjacent to I-84 we have a new foundry, Firebird Bronze, under construction by artist and sculpturist, Rip Caswell. This is significant for the ever-popular Caswell art galleries which is located in Troutdale. The foundry once completed will have 12-15 employees with construction cost and furnishings of approximately $3 million. In that same area, we have Apollo Plumbing building their home office. Custom Asphalt, an environmentally friendly company, is well under way with their project at $1,222,224.00 These will be home offices for all four properties and provide many job opportunities. We are talking about hundreds of construction jobs to complete all of these projects.

Site preparation is under way for the new location of N.W.Freight. Increased demand for trucking services is driving the market intensified by those on line shoppers much to the chagrin of the brick and mortar stores.

At Edgefield McMenamin’s to the north of Halsey the property has been cleared. What is their plans for that property?

The McMenamin’s have purchased 43 acres across from Edgefield for future development. They plan on building additional guest housing and other venues which will make this location in Troutdale one of the true gems of Oregon and major tourist destinations.

The current and past councils have strived to maintain the small town feel in our city and our hope is that we can continue to preserve that for future generations.

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