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Buildings on Port-Owned Property Approaching Full Occupancy
Burlington – Demand for building space on property owned by the Port of Skagit is strong and growing, the port commissioners learned in a report presented at their April 17 commission work session.
Only two vacancies exist in the 102 buildings on port-owned property at Skagit Regional Airport, Bayview Business Park, La Conner Marina and the Conway pole yard, the commissioners learned in a report by Director of Facilities and Operations Scott Peterson. That computes to a 98 percent occupancy rate, and Peterson added that he is currently in negotiations to lease the larger of the two vacant spaces. In addition, there is 4,779 square feet of unfinished space in the port-owned Peninsula Building at the marina.
“We aren’t putting out the ‘No Vacancy” signs yet, but we are getting close,” said Port Commissioner Bill Shuler, president of the commission. “We are making great strides forward and trying also to make sure that we’re using our buildings to their highest and best use.”
In total, buildings on port-owned property comprise nearly 1.3 million square feet of space, Peterson reported. The port owns 61 buildings with 480,418 square feet of space, while there are 41 tenant-owned buildings totaling 807,463 square feet on land leased from the port. The most recent census of the port’s 76 tenants found that 968 people work on port property.
With buildings at the port approaching full occupancy, the port staff is ramping up efforts to develop more land at the airport and business park, said Patsy Martin, executive director. A new marketing plan focuses on attracting businesses in various manufacturing sectors -- such as aerospace, value-added agriculture and clean technologies -- that would fit well with the existing mix of port tenants. The goal is to bring businesses into the Skagit Valley that will create more community wage jobs for local residents, Martin explained.
The port staff also recognizes that there are privately owned industrial properties in Skagit County and will attempt to direct prospective tenants to these properties whenever that best meets everyone’s needs, Martin said.