Why wont Subaru expand at port

first_imgSubaru of America Inc. wanted ground that was ready to be broken and built on.The Port of Portland had it.The Port of Vancouver did not.Nevertheless, the deal that landed a new 413,000-square-foot Subaru auto parts distribution facility at the port across the river should not be taken as a lost opportunity for Clark County, according to Larry Paulson, executive director of the Port of Vancouver. That’s because Vancouver’s port — already the West Coast point of entry for Subaru vehicles — is focusing its time and resources on building up its rail facilities to pump up jobs. And a strategic decision like that means that the port’s been slower to develop its Centennial Industrial Park, which would have been the logical location for the new Subaru facility.“They needed a shovel-ready situation where they could either move into an existing building or build one to their specifications,” Paulson said of the new Subaru facility slated to break ground in Portland this month. “We couldn’t meet their needs in a timely fashion.”In fact, Subaru knew the port likely wasn’t going to be able to accommodate the project, Paulson said, because the company’s real estate representative personally told him so. But the company included the port in the bidding process for the auto parts distribution facility as a courtesy, Paulson said.Under the deal it struck with the Port of Portland, Subaru will build a 413,000-square-foot complex housing auto parts distribution, a training center and regional offices for the company on a 19-acre site at Rivergate Corporate Center III. The company will relocate its distribution operations to this new location from its current 175,000-square-foot building at 158th Commerce Park in Portland. The move will more than double Subaru’s space in that city.Josh Thomas, a spokesman for the Port of Portland, said Subaru was outgrowing its current location in Portland, which drove the company to seek more space. Michael McHale, director of communications for Subaru of America, said the bigger facility in Portland won’t add new jobs because it involves moving existing workers to a new location. However, he added, “it’s a good investment, and it’s demonstrating our commitment to the area for the future.”last_img

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