Pendleton will consider installing $2 million of infrastructure to entice buyers to 40 acres of industrial land near Eastern Oregon Regional Airport.
Pendleton is already trying to entice industrial businesses to the land with an offer to add the infrastructure within 120 days of purchase. The city bought the land at the corner of Stage Gulch and Airport road in 2011, said Economic Development Consultant Steve Chrisman.
City manager Robb Corbett said he would have to ask council to approve laying the infrastructure in advance.
Chrisman has been encouraged by the state group Business Oregon to extend a gas line and city sewer and water to help recruit businesses to the land.
“They are strongly advocating for going ahead and doing it because time is money and there’s too many properties out there that are site-certified and are truly shovel ready,” Chrisman said.
Chrisman is working with the state to brand the land “shovel ready” so it is more marketable. The city would need to add the infrastructure for the state to consider it prepared for construction within six months.
Adding utilities could set it apart from property in other communities, including local contender Port of Morrow, which boasts 2,500 acres of industrial property with river and highway access.
Chrisman may commission a rendering of what the land would look like if developed, another advertising advantage.
“For me, from a marketing standpoint, curb appeal is a big deal,” he said.
Corbett said the city has a separate set of problems on a nearby 19-acre parcel of leasable industrial land.
The property, though connected to city services, is full of debris. And its three main access points — A, C and H roads — are riddled with potholes and in need of a fresh layer of gravel. Corbett aims to start those projects this winter.
“Just like we want to clean up the neighborhoods to make it an attractive place where people would want to live, we want to clean up (this land) to make it an attractive place where businesses want to locate,” he said.
Other rentable industrial land near the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport includes 30 acres with utilities, 80 acres without utilities, and 200 acres of airport land without utilities, according to city associate engineer Wayne Green. All rent from city-owned industrial property funnels to the airport.
Contact Chris Rizer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-966-0836.
This story originally appeared in East Oregonian.