A 43-acre business park between Beech Street, 14th Avenue and California Way in Longview is complete, and the first business to join is a Vancouver-based gymnastics gym.
The Longview Business Park was developed by local broker Jordan Willis and the Sari family, the latter of which owns the land and previously owned the Columbia Ford and Hyundai dealerships before selling the business to Bud Clary Auto Group in 2021.
One 0.8-acre lot sold on the corner of California Way and the park’s newly built section of Alaska Street next to Papé Machinery Agriculture & Turf. Northpointe Gymnastics, which opened in Vancouver around 2018, is building a second location at the site to serve the “significant” amount of Longview families who make the 45-minute drive south for class, said Northpoint Marketing Director Chris Hull.
The area along Interstate-5 from Vancouver to almost Olympia has few gymnastics studios, he added. Hull said construction is slated to begin in the fall and the facility could be opened by the winter or spring of 2023.
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Three Longview Business Park lots have pending sales and developers did not share the forecasted purchasers. The park includes hookups for water, sewer, electricity cable and gas. There are no buildings at the site, as buyers will construct their own.
Longview engineer Sam Barham said the city estimates the multi-million-dollar park could bring 118 to 133 jobs, and the goal is to favor businesses that will do so, said Pat Sari.
“We want to see jobs,” Sari said. “We don’t want to put storage units here.”
The park is zoned commercial — which can include business like retail stores, offices and healthcare providers — and light industrial — which can include veterinary offices, health clubs and heavy equipment sales. The park is comprised of 14 lots, and available lots range from 1.7 acres for $536,877 to 7.5 acres for about $2.2 million.
The developers built two roads: the 2,000-foot, dead-end section of Alaska Street, which is accessed by California Way, and a 530-foot road off Beech Street, which could be named 11th or 12th Avenue. Sari said developing the streets alone cost more than $4 million.
The streets include lights, bike lanes and sidewalks, and Barham said they’ll be given to the city in a formal dedication within the next few weeks for the city maintain. He said the streets will open to the public after the dedication, as they are currently barricaded.
The new section of Alaska Street ends in a cul de sac without reaching the section of Alaska Street already built. Barham said as the developers sell lots, the road might need to be built out to accommodate increased traffic.
The gravel road of 14th Avenue runs between the old part of Alaska Street and the business park’s new section of Alaska Street. Barham said the Longview Public Works Department applied for funding to pave 14th Avenue but he does not know the current status.
Previously, Sari said the development of Beech Street jump-started the park’s construction. Construction of Beech Street started in June 2020 and used state, federal and private funds from local land owners, Barham said.
Adjoining landowners petitioned the city to build out Beech Street as part of a government option called a local improvement district around 2018. Barham said several businesses pitched in to build the road, not just the Longview Business Park owners.
Barham said business park purchasers may need to perform traffic studies prior to build out depending on how much traffic the proposed business could bring during rush hour.
Sari said the park also has tax benefits for those who purchase land because it is located in the federal designation known as an Opportunity Zone which aims to provide tax incentives to business investors in underserved communities.