The Port of Kalama is using a business incubator program that could boost local entrepreneurs while helping it fill some of the vendor spaces at its under-construction Mountain Timber Market project at 254 Hendrickson Drive, along the banks of the Columbia River.
Mountain Timber Market is a two-story, 32,757-square-foot building that will be home to local vendors, artisans, and event and meeting spaces. The port is also leasing two restaurant spaces and a retail space it hopes to fill with a distillery, taphouse, brewery or wine retailer. The retail space will be bright and spacious, with garage doors that open to views of Marine Park and the Columbia River.
The port says conversations are underway with potential tenants for the restaurant spaces and retail location. Both restaurant spaces will have waterfront views and patio seating. The port says it plans to fill those spaces with a steakhouse or seafood restaurant and an Italian restaurant. Online listings indicate the restaurant spaces are 5,442 and 3,444 square feet, and the retail/distillery space is 2,149 square feet. Asking lease rates are $36 per square foot, per year, on a triple-net basis.
Plans show 11 permanent store spaces on the first floor for retail or food vendors, along with 28 vendor stalls in a center corridor running the length of the building, and the distillery. The second floor has the two large restaurants and two conference rooms.
According to the port, a select group of graduates from the SCORE business accelerator program will be competing for opportunities to fill the market vendor spaces with a variety of offerings — from baked goods to artworks. SCORE is a nationwide network of seasoned entrepreneurs and executives from all business sectors that helps entrepreneurs access information they need to become successful.
For the SCORE program, the market has room for up to nine small retail spaces, two smaller restaurants and vendor hall space. A port committee selected 20 participants for the free business accelerator program organized by SCORE Vancouver. That group is in the midst of the 13-week program that runs until Dec. 10. Graduates of the program will make their business pitches to the selection committee, which will make recommendations to port commissioners for those seeking a spot in the market. If approved, those businesses will be offered a lease.
The market was designed by BLRB Architects and is being built by Forma Construction Co. adjacent to McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge, and between Marine and Louis Rasmussen parks. It is expected to be finished by fall 2023. The DJC reported in May that Forma's contract was about $19 million.
The project originally called for 19 hotel rooms on the second floor. A port spokeswoman said that part of the project was redesigned into community event venues and an additional restaurant space after a client decided to not move forward with the hotel.
The port says the location along the river attracts about 250,000 visitors annually, with many from the nearby Portland and Vancouver areas. A new cruise ship dock on the property is also a draw.
The market's name and design is a nod to the history of the city and the original Mountain Timber Co. from the early 1900s.