The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority is buying land in Malaga for future economic development.  

The Port is paying $2.25 million for about 100 acres of land south of the Malaga Alcoa Highway.  

Port CEO Jim Kuntz says the property will provide a pathway for development.  

"There's an assemblage of property that I believe we are going to have economic development success," said Kuntz. 'That's why we buy property is to try to create jobs, bring in private investment. This seems like the last piece."  

The Port invested in about 35 acres and agreed to finance a waterline extension in Malaga in February.   

It has also taken a lead role in working with Microsoft, which is building a data center campus in Malaga valued at half a billion dollars. 

The Port authorized the purchase of 101.2 acres at 4470 Saturday Ave. $22,233 per acre at its last meeting.  

The move authorizes the Executive Director to enter into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with current owner Tom and Sharon Utigard/Malaga Springs, LLC. 

Port CEO Jim Kuntz called its part of a "phase two" development plan.  

He noted the property contains an area with "topographical constraint" that isn’t usable for economic development purposes, but he called the "flat ground" "very valuable.”  

Kuntz suggested the Port could find a buyer who would make a decision on what to do with the "rough terrain" portion of the property. 

He floated the scenario where it could be used as a source for solar energy generation, and also mentioned a future owner might designate it for wildlife habitat to receive credit from the state. 

Kuntz also said the Port would also work diligently to make sure water rights from the property would be transferred to agricultural purposes, after a Port commissioner mentioned the property, as well as several others purchased by the Port, had previously been used for agricultural interests. 

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