Submitted by Port of Centralia
In 2012, the Port of Centralia announced Centralia Station, a proposed development to be located off the new Mellen Street interchange. Now, almost four years later, the Port is completing final property acquisitions and preparing to move forward with construction, which will take place over the next two years.
“The Port is very excited to be undertaking the Centralia Station project and making this investment in our community. This project will bring immediate benefits to our region while creating long-lasting assets for generations to come,” said Kyle Heaton, executive director of the Port of Centralia.
Centralia Station will be a multi-use development, home to new office spaces as well as retail stores, including a large anchor tenant, and restaurants that will not only provide more options for residents but also service those working at and visiting Providence Centralia Hospital. Local providers will also benefit from additional medical facilities. In partnership with Centralia College, the project will include educational facilities and sports fields, paving the way for the college’s newly formed women’s soccer program. Hiking trails will round out the development with green space for public use.
The new I-5 interchange at Mellen Street contains design improvements that are directly tied to the Centralia Station project. The Port’s partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation has focused on creating a gateway to downtown Centralia and improving traffic flow to Centralia College and into Centralia Station. The improvements will also improve the flow for the new collector-distributor lanes between Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue and extend their useful lifetime.
In addition to the infrastructure improvements and businesses that Centralia Station will attract, the project will have a major impact on the local economy. The first effect will be the generation of hundreds of local jobs during the construction period. Once completed, Centralia Station businesses will create and maintain hundreds of permanent jobs that are projected to total $17 million in annual payroll. The project will generate significant tax revenue to support local entities that provide important social services and education. As Lewis County continues to struggle to recover from the recession, these jobs and tax revenues will work to better serve the community.
“Centralia Station will create opportunities for new and existing businesses to serve our community,” said Dick Larman, former managing director for regional services at Washington State’s Department of Community Trade and Economic Development and former executive director of the Lewis County Economic Development Council. “The Port of Centralia has invested in this community and its economy and I fully support this effort to bring economic development to our region.”
Centralia Station also has a number of environmental benefits. In addition to cleaning up an area of urban blight and turning it into an attractive extension of the city fronting the I-5 corridor, the project also includes significant flood mitigation plans. A state-of-the-art stormwater facility will handle excess water from the project area and the sports fields will serve as compensatory storage during the winter months, ensuring that neighbors are not negatively affected by site development. Through planning, permitting, construction and operation, the project is committed to meeting or exceeding all federal, state and local environmental standards.
The first train depot was built in Centralia in 1880 by Northern Pacific Railroad and the project is building on the city’s long railroading history. Centralia Station will work to carry this theme from the project’s branding to the building design and site amenities. Through its multiple opportunities and benefits, Centralia Station will continue the Port of Centralia’s mission of job creation and improved quality of life for those who live and work in the community it serves.
Stay tuned as this project continues to move forward by visiting the project website, www.CentraliaStation.com, for more information and to sign up to receive project updates. For questions contact the Port of Centralia at 360-736-3527.