Redevelopment a Key Strategy in Economic Development

What do the Boise Cascade Mill site and Speedway site in Yakima, a hop field in Moxee, a former cattle feed lot in the lower valley, and the old Carnation Milk Processing plant in Sunnyside all have in common? They are all prime sites for redevelopment to support future business growth.

But how do you take a site that was once home to a large operation like a lumber mill or feed lot and get it ready for a new business to locate there?

“While the former use of these redevelopment sites vary widely, the process for getting the sites ready for new investment is essentially the same,” said Joe Schmitt, Director of Business recruitment for Yakima County Development Association. “From a predevelopment perspective these sites can present a variety of significant challenges, but the outcome is often the biggest success story in regional economic development and a major game changer for a community.”

Redevelopment can open formerly blighted, neglected, or underserved land, bringing new investment and providing cities a source of new tax revenues.

“Our job here at YCDA is to facilitate site readiness to ensure when opportunities present themselves to the Yakima Valley there are sites ready to move forward with development,” explained Schmitt. “This includes everything from having infrastructure in place to environmental planning and engineering analysis.”

In Yakima County there are more than 800 acres of industrial and commercial land at some phase of the redevelopment process.  Infrastructure such as new roads or sewer lines are currently under construction on several large sites around the Valley, from enhancements to a 250+ acre industrial site near Moxee to the Regional Beltway Project in Union Gap and the new East-West Corridor project to serve the City of Yakima and Terrace Heights.

“Our goal is to get all these sites through the redevelopment process so that companies can build new facilities on them and create new industry and jobs for the folks that live in our communities.”

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