Making sure Alcoa land is in city boundaries is essential to development, officials say

TROUTDALE - Port of Portland officials recently submitted an application to the city asking that 569 acres of the former Reynolds Metals property be annexed into Troutdale.

Ensuring that the land is within city boundaries is just the first step in the process that will allow the port to move forward in developing the property.

The issue is set to come before the Troutdale Planning Commission at the end of January, said Rich Faith, Troutdale's community development director.

Once the Planning Commission has approved the annexation, the City Council will also consider it.

'I think the council has been anticipating (this proposal) and is anxious to annex the Alcoa property,' Faith said.

Port officials were also anxious to move forward on the project.

'It's the first step for whatever occurs out there,' said Tom Bouillion, senior Port of Portland planner.

The port does not have any specific plans for the site, but envisions an industrial park similar to the 2,800-acre Rivergate Industrial District in North Portland, Bouillion said.

'While we don't have an actually map … we are thinking about a similar sort of look and mix of building,' said Eric Hedaa, Port of Portland spokesman.

A portion of the Alcoa property lies within Fairview's boundaries, but that piece of land is not part of the port's current development proposal.

General plans call for a mix of warehousing, distribution and light industrial uses in the area.

'I think we're at the stage now of looking at what kinds of developments, what kinds of demands there are for industrial properties,' Hedaa said.

Port officials hope to see development start within two or three years, Hedaa said.

'It's really an exciting project, and one of the things we've been very committed to is working with the neighborhoods out there,' he said. 'We're seeing a great deal of cooperation and excitement on their part about getting this property developed.'

The Port doesn't officially own the property, but is pursuing the annexation with permission of Alcoa executives, Bouillion said.

The sale is contingent upon the clean up of the property, which is a Superfund site.

The clean up is essentially complete, Hedaa said, adding that Alcoa officials are awaiting a ruling from Environmental Protection Agency as to whether any further action is needed.

The sale of the property should be final in early 2007 after the EPA's ruling is released.

The port originally wanted to put a intermodal rail yard on the site, but finally dropped that proposal in July after continued objections by East County residents and leaders.

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