A parcel of land where the former Peninsula Plywood mill once stood, shown on Thursday, is slated for development into a Marine Trades Center on the Port Angeles waterfront. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A parcel of land where the former Peninsula Plywood mill once stood, shown on Thursday, is slated for development into a Marine Trades Center on the Port Angeles waterfront. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Grant sparks Port of Port Angeles site design

Marine Trades Center to be developed

PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles has received funding to start building the Marine Trade Industrial Park.

The port is getting a $7.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to begin the work of hiring an engineering consultant to create a design for site development of 18 acres on Marine Drive.

“This has been the port’s highest strategic goal, to develop this site for a productive use, since the mill closed in 2011,” said Chris Hartman, director of engineering for the Port of Port Angeles.

Hartman was referring to Peninsula Plywood, which closed in 2011 after taking over the site following the 2007 closure of the KPly mill there.

The port completed the demolition of the mill and cleanup of the site to be used as an industrial park.

“We’re excited we get to start executing on that,” Hartman said.

The port will match the grant with $3.8 million.

An estimated $11 million will be needed to complete site development. Construction is targeted for the end of 2024, after which it will be available for tenants.

It will take about four months to select an engineering firm, Hartman estimated, and then design is likely to take another four to five months.

Environmental assessment work has been completed, he said, and a biological evaluation found no endangered species affected.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re happy it’s moving forward,” Hartman said.

Rep. Derek Kilmer — a Gig Harbor Democrat who represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula — joined U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in announcing the grant earlier this week.

“This project aims to spur the creation of good-paying jobs in the maritime services sector by developing the infrastructure needed to support new and existing businesses in Clallam County,” Kilmer said in a press release.

“This EDA investment … is expected to create 103 jobs and generate $8 million in private investment.”

Gov. Jay Inslee called the grant “a significant win for the Port Angeles community and Washington’s iconic maritime sector,” while Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace, called it “another exciting step in the revitalization of the Port Angeles waterfront.

The funds came from the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, which provided EDA with $600 million.

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Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

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