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Port clears Alcoa site for sale to FedEx

Port of Portland officials approved the sale of a parcel of the recently acquired Troutdale-Reynolds Industrial park to FedEx Ground Package Systems on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The 78-acre parcel, part of the former Reynolds Metals/Alcoa plant on Sundial Drive near the Columbia River, was sold for $16.96 million, moving a long-discussed FedEx deal another step closer, said Josh Thomas, port spokesman. The shipping company is interested in building a 425,000-square-foot ground distribution center to replace its Swan Island facility in North Portland.

The port closed on the $17.25 million purchase of the entire 700-acre site Dec. 20, a few months after the city of Troutdale sought and received an Enterprise Zone designation for the property. Approved by the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, the zone allows a company to operate with a three-year abatement of property and business taxes.

FedEx is the first to grab one of 11 lots in the 350-acre portion the port plans to develop in three stages. The rest of the land, another 350 acres, will be reserved for green space, including wetland preserves and trails.

'We are thrilled about FedEx Ground's interest in the port's new Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park,' said Joe Mollusky, the port's real estate program manager. 'Companies will benefit from the location and transportation advantages that the industrial park and the region has to offer.'

Troutdale and port officials worked for years to return the property to productive use after it underwent years of environmental mitigation work as a federal Superfund site. Reynolds Metals operated an aluminum smelting plant on the property from 1941 through the late 1990s, when Alcoa acquired Reynolds. Most of the significant cleanup work is done, but the port is restricted to using the former plant site for industrial uses only.

Port commissioners recently approved a process to choose a contractor for public infrastructure in the first phase of the industrial park. Plans call for a street called Swigert Way with utilities, an upgraded Sundial Road with a traffic signal at Marine Drive and a recreational trail along the Columbia River levee.

The Port hopes to close the FedEx deal in the coming months.

FedEx officials were not available for comment at press time.