Six marijuana growers will rent space on Dunbar Avenue property along Interstate 84.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: ZANE SPARLING - The site of a marijuana business park was mostly quiet on Wednesday, Jan. 31, but the owner recently mowed the parking lot.  A marijuana-based business park now has the green light to open in an industrial area near Interstate 84 in Troutdale.

Six separate pot growers are expected to rent out a total of 51,000 square feet split among three buildings located on Northwest Dunbar Avenue near the corner of Seventh Street. Marine Drive provides overall access to the area.

"With all due respect, it is not the prettiest property that we have in the city," testified Troutdale Development Director Chris Damgen during a planning commission meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 20. "The condition of it, I think, can be fairly described as blight."

The 6.8-acre site once employed some 80 people building portable saws that were delivered to remote timber camps around the world. The company, Mobile Manufacturing, dwindled to just three employees when it shut down after 25 years in late 2017.

"One of the first things we did was mow the parking lot," said Phoenix Industrial Redevelopment's Steve Kreitzberg, who now controls the land. "My cannabis tenants don't care what the buildings look like, but when it goes into my portfolio, I do."

The real estate investor said he plans to erect a 6-foot-tall chain-link fence topped with strings of barbed wire around the property, plus repaint the buildings gray and fix a few leaks in the roof. He says he will hire a private security company to patrol the site at night and also envisions a central gate that requires a passcode to enter.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission requires marijuana production facilities to install video cameras that capture both sides of each doorway and maintain a 30-day archive of that footage that's backed up online.

When fully occupied, the center is expected to employ less than 50 people.

"They're committed to creating a safe and secure property," commented marijuana farmer David Pool, who plans to grow pot in Troutdale under his Neighbor Dave's Organics brand. "When I'm looking for a cannabis property it's always about security and location — away from people."

Matthew Schneider and Tim Messelt, who have held a cannabis grow license in Troutdale since May, also said they hope to lease space in the park.

Troutdale's volunteer planning commission unanimously approved the new use of the property.

"My hope would be that all of your tenants are as professional as the ones who were here this evening," noted Commission Chair Tanney Staffenson.

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