Centralia Station Project Moving Forward With Upcoming Yew Street Extension


Centralia Station, a 43-acre multiuse development off of the Mellen Street interchange, is shown in this drawing.

The next infrastructure-related step in the Port of Centralia’s longtime pursuit of its Centralia Station project development could be days away from coming to reality, even if some of the grander plans are still in the works.

The port’s Centralia Station project is a planned development where several businesses and industries will be gathered in one development around a major retail grocer as an anchor tenant that will be accessible by a new Interstate 5 offramp at Mellen Street.

“We are still waiting on the federal highway permit on the (Mellen Street) ramp,” said Kyle Heaton, executive director of the Port of Centralia, at Wednesday’s commission meeting. “There have been some considerable submissions going on from AECOM, our ramp engineer. We know that they’re actively working on a review, but I do not have a date as to when they say they will complete it.”

But after that hangup came good news for the proponents of the project.

For there to be access to Centralia Station, Yew Street will need to be extended to bring access to the development. The Yew Street extension project could be ready for bids by the end of the month, Heaton said during the meeting.

“Where we’re at now, is again, we’re awaiting approval for the Yew Street extension from the City of Centralia,” Heaton told The Chronicle. “We’re hoping that will be forthcoming in the next few days, a week (maybe). We’ll be at bid immediately after that on the Yew Street extension. We are hopeful that we’ll get a good turnout of local contractors as well. It’s a considerable project, funded largely in part from Sen. (John) Braun as well as (Peter) Abbarno … and (Ed) Orcutt.”

In March, The Chronicle reported that the state Legislature included an additional $1.7 million for the completion of infrastructure for the Centralia Station project as part of its $17 billion “Move Ahead Washington” transportation budget.

First conceived in 2010, Centralia Station will include retail, commercial and light industrial businesses when complete. It will be located just south of Mellen Street on land that has been largely cleared of structures over the last several years. According to a Port of Centralia news release, it is projected to create over 500 permanent jobs, produce over $118 million in annual sales and generate over $7 million annually in state and local taxes.

The project has seen one delay after another as the port has tried to move it forward, with an anchor tenant pulling out and the COVID-19 pandemic stymieing its progression.

The port initially announced Fred Meyer as the planned anchor tenant. Later, WinCo was announced as the anchor, according to previous Chronicle reports.

The time it’s taken to get the project going notwithstanding, Heaton told The Chronicle Centralia Station will be a boon for the city and region.

“As well as just a very, very nice amenity that is going to be built right out on I-5, it will really start to do what the Port Commission envisioned — and that’s clean up the front door of the city,” Heaton said.

Read the original article: https://www.chronline.com/stories/stihl-northwest-celebrates-opening-of-new-100000-square-foot-facility-in-port-of-centralia,262133 https://chronline.com/stories/centralia-station-project-moving-forward-with-upcoming-yew-street-extension,289808?

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