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State to Transfer 225-Acre Property to Port of Skagit

In what is being hailed as a model of intergovernment collaboration, the state of Washington this week will transfer a 225-acre property to the Port of Skagit so that it can be developed into an innovation and clean technology campus that serves as an economic engine for the area.

In addition, the Port plans to boost community access to the beautiful campus.

The public is invited to celebrate the transfer on Friday, June 29.

·         Time: 10 to 11 a.m.

·         Location: 2070 Northern State Rd.

·         More details: http://www.portofskagit.com/skagit-advantage/swift-center/swift-center-celebration/

 

Later in the day, Gov. Jay Inslee will hand the keys to the property to Port of Skagit Commission President Dr. Kevin E. Ware.

Gov. Jay Inslee said: “This is a powerful example of what we can accomplish together when the state works in collaboration with local government partners. This week’s property transfer to the Port of Skagit helps the community realize a long-term vision that makes cultural, economic and environmental sense. Congratulations to all of the community and government partners who came together to develop an innovative solution for this important asset to benefit all Washingtonians.”

Port of Skagit Commission President Dr. Kevin E. Ware said: “The transition to local control will allow the Port to make the park-like grounds more open to the general public and will lead to additional jobs. The Port intends to make this beautiful and historically important publicly owned property much more available to the general public than it has been in the past. Over the next several years, in coordination with other local government agencies, the Port will work with Janicki Bioenergy to create much needed, well-paying, technology-research and manufacturing jobs.”

Janicki Bioenergy CEO Peter Janicki said: “The Port of Skagit taking local control of the old Northern State complex is a huge milestone and a great opportunity for our community.  The vision of the SWIFT Center is to be a campus dedicated to developing innovative solutions for some of humanity’s biggest problems—starting with new technologies in the water, sanitation and environmental sectors.  This development effort will happen in coordination with the city, port, local universities and schools.  Our team at Janicki Bioenergy is very excited to be part of the revitalization of this site.”

Future use

The Port estimates redeveloping the property into the Sedro-Woolley Innovation for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Center will bring between 600 and 1,000 new sustainable, community-wage jobs to the region during the next 10 to 20 years. Local company Janicki Bioenergy will be the anchor tenant for the new innovation andclean technology campus. In addition, under Port ownership:

·         Strong stewardship of important environmental resources on the property will continue.

·         There will be an increased emphasis on seeking ways to restore and preserve historic features and buildings.

Multi-year process 

The property transfer was almost five years in the making, and involved numerous local and state partners.It required both legislative and local actions, including authorization by the state legislature to transfer the property to the Port and annexation of the property into the City of Sedro-Woolley. To secure ownership, the state also required the Port to show local investments of at least $5 million in redeveloping the property. 

The collaborative planning process began in fall 2013, when the Port, City of Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County, Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, state Department of Enterprise Services and more than 20 other designated representatives from the community and state agencies began working to explore community interest in future opportunities. The local partners identified common goals for future redevelopment of the property. Enterprise Services managed the property on behalf of the state, gathered stakeholders and facilitated conversations on a vast array of issues.

Enterprise Services Director Chris Liu said: “Congratulations to all of the partners who joined together to create this vision for the future. Along the way, we discovered that the solution was more complex - and involved more parties - than anyone had ever imagined. Our work together to develop and invest in this solution wasn’t easy – but the vision, trust and strong partnerships forged along the way will benefit this community well into the future.”

Learn more about the celebration, partnerships, and site visit: http://www.portofskagit.com/skagit-advantage/swift-center/swift-center-celebration/

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Andrew Entrikin, community outreach administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email andrew@portofskagit.com