Mill Creek Industrial Park
30 Jun, 2006By: Trade & Industry Development
The State of Oregon, Department of Administrative Services (DAS), and the City of Salem have partnered to create one of the largest, best planned industrial properties in the Pacific Northwest. The shared goal of DAS and the City of Salem is to develop the 650 acre site in Salem, known as the Mill Creek Industrial Park (MCIP), in Salem into an integrated shovel ready site that will promote economic growth, jobs, and the capital commitment that will continue the momentum to drive the economy of the Mid-Willamette Region forward. In developing an agreement to achieve this goal, the partnership has capitalized on the unique opportunity presented by the State, the goals of the City of Salem, strategic partners such as the Strategic Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR), the Oregon Department of Economic and Community Development (OECDD) and the interests other stakeholders. These shared principles have served as the basis for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Salem and DAS and ultimately the principles for the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that exists today to stimulate the development of the MCIP into a premier industrial site within the boundaries of the I-5 Corridor. “In contrast to the Portland area, which is turning to brownfield sites for industrial development, the Mill Creek Industrial Park offers clean, well served, large sites near I-5 and will be the premier location for business and industry in the North Willamette Valley”, says Greg Parker, Lands Transaction Coordinator for the Department of Administrative Services – Facilities, for the State of Oregon.
What constitutes the Mill Creek Industrial Park today and how will development of the site be accommodated? Located less than 50 miles south of Portland, the MCIP is a new 650 acre prime industrial site in Salem, Oregon utilizing land owned by the State of Oregon at a premium location with immediate access to the I-5 Corridor. No other shovel ready site of this size that is shovel-ready currently exists within the state’s I-5 Corridor. In addition, the site has a flat topography, suitable soils for construction, adjacent utilities, access to a large well trained labor force, flexibly zoned with the City’s new Employment Zone (EZ), and compatible with surrounding uses. Development of the site fits consistently with the goals of the City of Salem for enhanced livability, economic benefit, quality, open-space, and environmental sensitivity. “We are proud of the City’s cooperative attitude toward development, particularly our fast-track, phased permitting we have put in place to expedite the building permit process” says Bob Wells, Salem City Manager. “All this adds to a developer’s certainty in getting projects build on time and on budget.”
DAS and the City of Salem have been extremely careful to create a master plan that provides a complementary balance of uses that are intended to maximize both employment and increment generation. The plan creates a site that will accommodate a wide variety of building types and markets, allowing for office and flex buildings that provide an attractive frontage for the development and act as a buffer between pure industrial uses and the adjacent community. The property will be developed in phases with a wide mix of warehouse distribution; light industrial business park, manufacturing, and locally oriented commercial (See Master Plan Map in ad). The site is planned to accommodate large end users including 1) Phase IB, a 146 acre parcel for a large industrial user (warehouse/distribution) at the north end of the property, and 2) Phase II, a 157 acre industrial site that will begin when Phase IC (50 acres) and Phase IA have been subdivided, developed, and absorbed by the market. The availability of large industrial sites that can be quickly developed (in six months or less) is seen as increasingly critical to attracting new industries and jobs to the state and region. This program addresses those needs by providing large flex properties that are shovel-ready for quick development. “Having sites that are ready now is critical to the recruitment process” says Raymond Burstedt, President of SEDCOR. “You can not ask a potential user to wait a few years while we get a site ready for you as that is a sure formula for sending them to the competition”.
One of the many issues the partnership has addressed, in addition to infrastructure requirements and responsibilities, is the delineation of the wetlands within the site. By approaching the sites environmental resources from a holistic, rather than a piecemeal perspective, the plan provides larger continuous habitat and wetlands developments that have the potential to create a trail system through the property that will provide public access to a natural resource that is not currently available to them. Final wetland permits for the entire site will be issued in early summer.
The development program established by the partnership goes far beyond what is found at a typical industrial park instead, the program recognizes the unique opportunities provided by MCIP. The goals for the City of Salem have been developed around enhancing the long-term quality of life in the region, providing opportunities for employment and business development, plan the location and nature of land uses to promote integration, transition, and compatibility with neighboring uses, and protect the key natural features and sensitive environments in balance with industrial uses for the property. “It appears form the level of interest in the property, we are making these goals a reality” says Janet Taylor, Mayor of Salem. “We have worked hard with the State to bring this unique property to the market, and the market is responding! If your business is looking for a great piece of industrial property, chances are you will find it at the Mill Creek Industrial Park. Contact us soon so you will not miss this unique opportunity.”