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Tacoma port looks to sale Maytown ?logistics center? parcel

Tacoma port looks to sale Maytown ælogistics centerÆ parcel

Port of Tacoma officials are expected to take the first step today toward the sale of a 745-acre Thurston County parcel at the center of a failed bid by port officials to develop a major inland truck and rail logistics center.

   The port's governing board will vote to approve issuing a request for proposal seeking responses from real estate advisers that will handle the sale of the parcel, located about 30 miles southwest of the port in the city of Maytown.

   The RFP seeks respondents to compile a detailed profile of the property, develop a potential list of buyers, create a bidding package, and also manage the eventual auction of the property.

   The port purchased the rural Maytown site more than two years ago for $22 million, hoping to convert the 745-acre rural property into an inland port with extensive truck and rail connections, as well as industrial manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities. Port officials also spent more than $70,000 on a siting study last year to determine that the Maytown parcel was the best fit for the proposed development. In addition, the port spent more than $140,000 on a public relations contract specifically to deal with the project.

   Despite the port's public marketing of the development and arguments regarding the logistic center's creation of nearly 2,000 local jobs, Maytown residents formed opposition groups to fight the project soon after the port purchase of the parcel. Opposition to the plan focused on projected increases in noise, truck traffic and environmental impacts from the logistics center.

   In early June, port officials dropped plans to develop manufacturing facilities at the site and said at the time that they intended to focus on developing a rail storage facility, but that did not satisfy the opposition groups, including the grass-roots Friends of Rocky Prairie. The group, which formed directly in response to the proposed development, claimed at the time to have a network of more than 3,000 project opponents.

   Two weeks later, following the withdrawal of the Port of Olympia from the development plan, the Tacoma port's commissioners formally abandoned the entire logistics center development.

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