The Port of Ridgefield hopes to lure a number of tenants to north Clark County with the construction of a new 112,000-square-foot industrial building on 7.5 acres of property near Interstate 5.

The port’s plan to build on the property – located at the end of 11th Street near Pacific Crest Cabinets and Agave Denim – comes approximately one year after the port kicked off a project to extend the street (along with utilities) into the site to make it suitable for industrial development.

With site plan and elevations complete and permitting wrapping up this summer, the port has begun seeking tenants and will begin construction on the building as soon as leases are secured.

“It can be one single user who wants to make use of the entire building,” said Port of Ridgefield CEO Brent Grening, “or multiple users, who want to make use of the 25,000-square-foot bays.”

The concrete tilt construction building will have 30-foot clearance for trucks and will be zoned light industrial. Applicable uses can be office, warehouse or light industrial.

According to Grening, the building is a part of the port’s natural progression to develop the area. Last May, the port sold a neighboring 10.5-acre parcel to Vancouver developer Elie Kassab. Kassab plans to use the property for a similarly-sized industrial building.

“Economic development is what we’re about,” Grening said. “Last summer we put the road through,” and now we are just starting to market the building.”

When asked about the timing of the development, Grening said it boiled down to market demand.

“We thought the market was showing signs of coming back and we thought if we got out there and started to plan a building now, we could be in the right place at the right time in the right market for the kinds of businesses we want to see here,” he said. “It made sense to develop it.”

For tenants, the port is seeking companies who want to capitalize on the convenient location, whether they are a single user or one of multiple users in a divided space. However, Grening said, “One of the things we really wanted to do with this building was gear it toward smaller companies.”

The smaller companies, he said, are what the port is currently missing.

“A lot of the development in Ridgefield has been single-user,” Grening explained. “We lack the smaller tenants.”

This development, Grening added, points to continued strong growth at the port.

“We’re bringing in good jobs,” he said, “and developing our economic base. We’re looking for small to mid-size businesses who want to come in and take root in the community. We’re working hard to spur economic development in Ridgefield.”