PORT ANGELES — Marine Drive offices once occupied by a failing timber company are getting a new lease on life in the maritime industry.
Port of Port Angeles commissioners unanimously approved a rental agreement Tuesday with Jack and Terri Harmon’s Arrow Launch Service Inc. to consolidate Arrow’s dispatching, management and administrative operations at the Marine Trades Industrial Park.
The company, which transports passengers and freight to and from vessels in Grays Harbor and the Puget Sound, will occupy the former 439 Marine Drive headquarters for Peninsula Plywood, which dissolved in 2011 under a mountain of debt.
Arrow Launch is part of Port Angeles-based Arrow Marine Group, which includes Arrow Marine Services, a company that transports vessel related items via a private fleet and through truck and air freight lines worldwide.
The move to the industrial park is part of the company’s broad plan to relocate its facilities at the MTIP, John Nutter, the port’s director of property, marinas and airports, said Tuesday.
In giving the 18-acre industrial site a new identity, the tax district completed a $2.14 million wash-down facility in December 2018 to lure companies to the parcel, reaching a milestone Tuesday with the lease agreement with Arrow Launch.
“This is our first official tenant of the Marine Trades Industrial Park,” Nutter told the commissioners.
Jack Harmon was out of town Tuesday and unavailable for comment.
Arrow Launch will lease the offices and a parking area beginning Sunday for $3,436 a month, including 50 cents a square foot for 6,549 square feet of office space.
The term is for 20 years, including a 10-year initial term and two five-year renewals that require mutual consent of the company and the port.
By relocating, Arrow will vacate properties it leases from the port at 937 Boathaven Drive and was leasing from Chuck Faires of Port Angeles Marine Inc. at 830 Boathaven Drive.
The 1,500-square-foot 830 Boathaven Drive structure is a former boatyard building that Arrow Launch has been using for offices but has outgrown, Nutter said.
Nutter said port officials expect to complete a transaction Friday to purchase Faires’ property for $225,000 at $150 a square foot.
The Harmons plan to lease an as-yet unbuilt vessel maintenance structure next to the new offices as Phase 2 of their relocation to the Marine Drive site, according to the staff report, authored by Nutter and Real Estate Administrator Susan Scott.
Arrow plans to vacate a similar-size, 5,000-square-foot building the company leases from the port at 914 Marine Drive to make the move.
Nutter said he and Jack Harmon are already working on the building design.
Nutter said he expects the three port buildings once occupied by Arrow Launch will be leased fairly easily.
The boatyard building has roll-up doors that make it easy to move large pieces of equipment.
“Tenants in the boatyard are already approaching me saying that we have an interest in using that building,” Nutter said.
“People want to be able to work on their boat indoors whether they are doing painting or sanding, regardless of the activity.
“Having the additional space helps the boatyard and creates additional revenue for the port.”
Port commission President Steven Burke lauded the agreement for keeping the port flexible with the remaining layout for the industrial park.
“Every tenant will have different needs,” Burke said after the meeting.
Burke waved his hand toward the port terminal.
“Right now, the log ship you see out there, that’s the last one for a while,” he said.
Nutter had said in an earlier interview that the decrease is due to a downtown in the logging industry.
“That’s the whole reason we’re doing this maritime industrial area is to create a line of business and an economic driver that’s not dependent on [the] natural resources of timber,” Burke said.
The agreement with Arrow Launch is “a great first step,” he added.
“I’m hoping that in this next year, you’ll see two or three more.”
Burke said he sees the addition of the MTIP’s first tenant as part of the ongoing momentum of development of Port Angeles, including the Waterfront Center, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s downtown hotel, and the expansion of Shore Aquatic Center, which Burke manages as executive director.
“These projects that are [ongoing] now are the momentum that will breed more success, which is exciting,” he said.
Burke said infrastructure such as electric power, utilities, and sewer and stormwater facilities need to be added to the industrial park.
Director of Engineering Chris Hartman said Tuesday that the 2018 cost estimate for infrastructure was $11.9 million.
Hartman said the plan that contained the estimate assumed that tenants would build their own buildings and the port would provide the infrastructure.
“The building Jack Harmon has in mind is something suitable for the port to build,” he said.
“Some buildings will be larger and be a stretch financially for the port to try to construct.”
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].