The Chelan Douglas Port Regional Authority is trying to find a contractor for a third time to finish out buildings in the Pangborn Airport Business Park to become a "Trades District." 

Trades District Source: Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority. Trades District Campus map.
Trades District Source: Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority.
Trades District Campus map.

The Port has increased the budget for the project after previous bids were higher than what was previously earmarked for what’s intended to be an incubator for startup businesses. 

There's an extended amount of site work that needs to be done. Individual utilities need to be brought into each building. Also, sidewalks, landscaping, and parking areas need to be added. The average square footage inside each building (600 sq. ft.) will be doubled and sometimes tripled. 

The Port first received five bids higher than its $10.2 million budget. The bid from Halme Construction was the lowest at $11.45 million but was still more than a million dollars over the target.  

The bids were all rejected and a new total construction budget has been set at $12.6 million. 

Port Authority Director of Economic Development and Capital Projects Stacy de Mestre says they're also downsizing some of the amenities at the buildings. 

"There were a lot of nice items to have, but not necessary," said de Mestre. "So, in an effort to still get this project moving forward, we did what's called value engineering and pulled some things out of the scope of work that weren't necessary for this to function as a business incubator site." 

The Port took several measures to reduce construction costs for the new round of bidding: 

  • Deleted the decorative fence panels from the project 
  • Specified all feeders to be aluminum 
  • Included food truck receptacles in the base bid 
  • Deleted the resinous floors from the project (leave concrete floors unfinished) 
  • Deleted the gypsum ceilings from the project
  • Kept all glass overhead doors as designed
  • Made site planters as an additive alternate 
  • Made shade structures as an additive alternate 
  • Bid project with the full scope of landscaping 

In addition, hollow metal entrance doors for each building were scrapped as was the installation of plumbing for natural gas for the entire project. 

Trades District layout from Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority
Trades District layout from Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority

de Mestre said the trades district will serve a specific need for building space. 

“We get a lot of requests for 1,000, 2,000 or maybe 3,000 square foot commercial or industrial space,” said de Mestre. “And we just don’t have it either in our inventory, and it’s very limited in the private sector.” 

Grant money for the project includes $5 million from the federal Economic Development Administration, also known as the EDA, $3 million from the Washington State Capital Budget, and $1 million from the state Department of Commerce.  

The 8-acre site with 25 pods in varying stages of construction was originally the brainchild of the now-failed cryptocurrency company Giga Watt.    

The site was handed over to the Port Authority as part of Giga Watt’s bankruptcy arrangement. 

The Port is now accepting bids for the project until May 29, the shortest bid time allowed for the federal funding the project is getting. The contract will be awarded at a special Port board meeting on May 31. Construction is scheduled to start in June with completion by March of next year. 

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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