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Road finished, leaders hope to recruit new industrial business

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Developer Mike Park cuts the ribbon during a ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Estacada Industrial Campus. Joining him are, from left, Business Oregon Director Tim McCabe, Estacada Mayor Brent Dodrill, Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas, State Rep. Bill Kennemer and State Sen. Alan Olsen.City, county and state officials were all smiles Wednesday, Dec. 11, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly constructed road on Estacada’s Industrial Campus.

The road is considered a necessary first step to attracting new industrial development to the surrounding land. The industrial campus is owned by developer Mike Park.

In a June interview with Estacada News, Park pointed out that the development of the existing Industrial Park — which also was his land — created more than 200 jobs in Estacada.

Park has long wanted to do something similar with the Industrial Campus.

He is hoping to recruit a large industrial business that deals in metals manufacturing, anodizing, or the like, and that employs people by the thousands.

It’s a goal the city of Estacada shares.

A Local Improvement District, or money loaned by the city for infrastructure to attract businesses, was approved earlier this year for the construction of the road.

“It’s a city project because the funding is through the state of Oregon and it’s a public job,” Park said in June.

Park and city leaders hope the road makes the surrounding land more attractive for prospective businesses.

In June, Elliott told the Estacada News that there are two challenges to attracting such a business: There’s no natural gas in the area and the land is not adjacent to a freeway, creating issues with the ease of transportation.

“Other than that it’s absolutely perfect,” Elliott said.

Park, the former owner of the Safari Club, purchased the land in 1988.

For a while he had a nursery, then grew Christmas trees.

But the idea to develop the land for industry purposes has been a long time in the making.

In June, City Manager Bill Elliott explained some of the hurdles that had to be cleared for that to be possible.

The first major challenge was to get the land within Estacada’s Urban Growth Boundary, which took some doing.

When Elliott became city manager four years ago, the project was still in process. And he’s “spent the whole four years working on it.”

Then the property had to be annexed into the city. That happened last year.

Once it came part of the city, the land was re-zoned for industrial development.

This was exciting for Park and city leaders because it’s one of the largest pieces of ground zoned for industrial use in Clackamas County.

The land has received Oregon’s Industrial Site Certification.

A crowd of at least 30 people, including State Sen. Alan Olsen, R-District 20; State Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-District 39; Tim McCabe, director of Business Oregon; representatives from the Estacada Fire District, Estacada police officer Bill Wetherbee; and several city and county officials gathered for the ribbon-cutting event.

Estacada Mayor Brent Dodrill had high praise for Park.

“He’s the spearhead behind all of this,” Dodrill said of Park. “Mike’s investment and risk and vision is really what’s behind all of this.”

“It’s really great to know that in an area that’s really deprived for employment, we’re doing what we’re doing here,” said Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas.

Park himself had few words.

“I think this is a real opportunity for this town,” he said.

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