Business

EDC says industrial land on the rise

"As recently as 1993, only 10.5 acres of industrial-zoned, vacant, for-sale property with necessary infrastructure existed in Kitsap County. Now, 774 Kitsap acres fit that description. That's a start, Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council executive director Zoltan Szigethy said at the organization's annual meeting March 21. But it's far from the 2,900 acres we need by 2017.The lack of available industrial land has been a prime complaint of the KREDC - and businesses looking to relocate here - for years. The plight was alleviated somewhat by the early 1999 passage of Kitsap's Comprehensive Land Use Plan, but officials said Wednesday that industrial plots are still few and far between.So are industrial jobs. Szigethy said an KREDC study performed in 1997 found just 2.5 percent of the Kitsap workforce had non-military manufacturing jobs. Statewide, 14 percent of the workforce had such employment.The KREDC's goal is to have 9 percent of the Kitsap workforce - some 12,000 new jobs - in non-military industrial manufacturing by 2017. To get those jobs, the EDC needs to find those 2,900 new industrial acres.The Olympic View Industrial Park, near Bremerton National Airport, has 500 acres available. But 480 of those acres are available for lease, not for sale, and many would-be corporations want to own their own facilities.Helping fill the void will be the Northwest Corporate Campus, a 377-acre mixed-use facility currently in the works at 3023 W. State Route 16, just inside the Bremerton city limits near Gorst.That campus includes plans for 188 acres of industrial, offices and business parks, 56 acres of residential development and 133 acres of open space.We expect to be the premier office and high-tech business park in the entire Northwest, said Ron Sciepko, chief developer for the project.Construction on the 30-acre phase 1 of the project is nearly ready to begin. The first building, a four- or five-story office wired for high tech, is scheduled to be constructed this summer.Our target is to have that building occupied by the spring of 2002, Sciepko said.The project started a decade ago, when Sciepko acquired 10 acres in the area. He viewed the property as ideal because of its position near state routes 3 and 16, ferries, Bremerton National Airport and McCormick Woods. "

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