R. W. Thorpe
Client: Port of Centralia
Project Size: 1,000 Acres
In 1997, the Lewis County Economic Development Council commissioned a study entitled "Lewis County Industrial Land Needs Analysis." That study cited employment statistics indicating that an expanded base of industrial land was required in order to maintain family wage jobs in Lewis County. In a similar vein, the Washington State Legislature enacted SB3099 that enabled the identification of industrial lands in otherwise rural areas. The Lewis County Comprehensive Plan, due in part to the findings of the referenced study, along with other independent data, and in accordance with the referenced legislation, identified the Centralia Steam Plant Site as a resource for future industrial development within the county.
The proposed industrial site encompasses approximately 1,000 acres of an active coal mine site. Development of the 1,000 acres is projected to occur over the next 20 years in approximately three phases. Phase I is a recently completely and partially reclaimed pit, approximately 170 acres in size, and is expected to be built out in approximately five years. Phase II is approximately 550 acres in size with mining currently scheduled to continue for 5 to 10 years. Phase III occupies the balance of the property and is scheduled to be completed as an industrial plat in the latter stages of the 20 year planning horizon.
This industrial site is intended to target large, capital-intensive, industrial and manufacturing uses. In 1998, the Lewis County Economic Development Council received inquiries from seven corporations who were looking, on average, for sites in excess of 100 acres. There were no suitable sites of this size in Lewis County. The available land within the industrial parks owned by the Ports of Centralia and Chehalis are not of sufficient size to accommodate these large scale facilities. Therefore, additional ground is required in order to maintain the economic viability of the county.
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