A Vancouver couple, who have spent their lives buying, selling and developing property, from subdivisions to industrial sites, have re-focused their sights on 30 acres of land they recently purchased in north Newport in the 78-hundred block of Northeast Avery Street. The question now is when will they land their first business on the property. With so much square footage available on their property, there is lots of room for a number of them.
Paul and Sharon Lawson are no strangers to Lincoln County, having a thing or two to do with a new housing subdivision just north of Yachats some years back, among others.
Executive Director of the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County Caroline Bauman praised the couple for “hanging in there” as a number of agencies and officials helped to shepherd the Lawson’s through the red tape required to get their industrially zoned land “shovel ready,” as was noted throughout the meeting. Every agency having anything to do with environmental protection was contacted and made aware of the Lawson’s intent to develop the property and wanting it to be “pre-approved” for creating higher paying family wage jobs while doing no harm to the Oregon Coast’s near pristine environment.
Bauman said agency by agency, from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to the Oregon Land Use and Development Department, from Oregon Fish and Wildlife to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, they reviewed the specific conditions of the Lawson property and have pre-cleared it for rapid development when businesses express an interest in locating there. “Shovel Ready,” is the term.
“Shovel Ready” means that when a prospective business begins to review the situation they’ll see all the pre-clearances are in writing, thereby opening the door for rapid construction of their new facility – all ramping up in six months rather than six years. Bauman noted that the Lawson property is the largest single parcel available up and down the coast that is in private hands, thereby being able to quickly respond to the needss of the industrial market-place. “Shovel Ready” also means that the Lawsons are lined up to utilize the financial resources of state and regional agencies that assist in promoting and growing local business – everything from grants to low interest loans. Business Oregon played a big role in successfully convincing NOAA to relocate their Pacific Fleet Headquarters from Seattle to Newport, and in helping the Port of Toledo acquire and re-open the former Fred Wahl Boatyard at Sturgeon Bend in Toledo. Both operations are handsomely contributing to the region’s economy.
Mr. Lawson said that he doesn’t yet have any solid prospects for the site but that he’s had a few “tire kickers” talk with him. He said the property’s rather irregular contour will have to be leveled out somewhat which they will do in the coming months.
By the way, if you’ve got an itch to grow your company on the drop-dead gorgeous Oregon Coast, Paul and Sharon Lawson’s phone number is 360-694-5112.