Port of Port Angeles extends month-to-month lease for CRTC

PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles has amended a month-to-month lease with the Composite Recycling Technology Center to give the nonprofit more time to reimburse the port for abated rent.

A long-term lease between the port and the Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) is being finalized, port officials said.

Commissioners Connie Beauvais and Colleen McAleer voted Tuesday to amend the month-to-month lease as recommended by staff. Commissioner Steve Burke was absent.

Simon Barnhart, port attorney and deputy executive director, said the amendment extends the initial term of the lease from 10 years to 13 years.

It gives CRTC 11 years rather than eight years to make up $215,654 in abated rent and to reach the full payment of $8,986 in monthly base rent, Barnhart said.

CRTC has occupied the port property at 2220 W. 18th St. in Port Angeles on a month-to-month lease since August 2016.

The CRTC turns recycled carbon fiber into strong, lightweight products. Its early rollouts have included pickleball paddles, pickleball nets and park benches.

Last year, the port fulfilled a $1.35 million financial commitment to the CRTC that was made in 2015.

Dave Walter, the CEO of CRTC, was not immediately available for comment Friday.

No CRTC officials were present for the vote on the amended lease last Tuesday.

“The CRTC now is engaged in what I would characterize as a very robust research, development and manufacturing phase,” Barnhart told the port commission Tuesday.

“They’re bringing in new employees and expanding in the way that we had hoped and anticipated at the time that we began our relationship with them.”

Barnhart said a sudden spike in rent for CRTC “may be detrimental to that growth phase that they’re in now.”

“We’re suggesting that we phase in the payment of the abated rent, and also that we phase in the fair market base rent that will be applied,” Barnhart said.

The long-term lease, which is pending U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) approval, would have the same terms as the amended month-to-month lease.

EDA officials recently accepted the terms of the port’s proposed long-term lease with CRTC, Barnhart said.

“That’s good news for us,” Barnhart said in a Friday interview.

The port received a grant from the EDA to improve the CRTC-occupied building near William R. Fairchild Memorial Airport.

As a condition of that grant, the EDA has final approval of any lease agreement between the port and a tenant of the building.

The port has a security interest in CRTC’s manufacturing equipment in lieu of a security deposit, Barnhart said.

Before voting to amend the month-to-month lease, Beauvais said the change would provide more operating funds for CRTC’s research and development phase.

“And it does spread it over a longer period of time,” Beauvais said.

Said McAleer: “I’ll be pleased when they move more into the manufacturing-focused role rather than the research and development.”

“R&D is often very resource-intensive and you are very reliant on grant funding very often for that,” McAleer said.

“Once you’ve completed that phase and you move into more of a focus on the manufacturing portion, you have fewer expenses and a lot more revenue coming in.”

McAleer added that Clallam County needs manufacturing jobs, not research jobs.

“We don’t have a lot of unemployed PhD’s out there in our community,” McAleer said.

“We have a lot of unemployed potential technicians. So I’ll be very pleased when they move into that phase.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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