In an exciting and emotional ribbon cutting ceremony for Chicago-based Bridge Development Partners on its brand new 241,000 square foot cold storage warehouse facility in Burien, Western Distribution Services President John Naylor spoke to a crowd of city officials from the Port of Seattle, City of Burien, Burien city council members, vendors and customers to express his excitement for this project.
“On behalf of WDS, it’s customers, vendors and everyone else here, thank you. It’s a big deal for me,” Naylor said as he choked up. “I get very emotional about this kind of stuff. I’ve dreamt about this for probably 30 years and to me, it’s a dream come true to stand up here in front of all of you and see this happening it’s just beyond my wildest imaginations but it’s something that without all of you, it would not have happened.”
Renton-based Western Distribution Services fully leased the warehouse building, which will be the largest in the company’s portfolio.
Also at the ceremony was Dan Mathews with Kidder Mathews, Andrea Reay, President and CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, Rob Adams with Tippmann Innovation and John Creighton, Port of Seattle commissioner.
“10-15 years ago they (City of Burien, Burien Council) had a vision to create the Northeast Redevelopment Area and for years, through the Great Recession, a lot of this land laid vacant,” Creighton said. “But now, together between the partnership of Burien and the Port of Seattle, we are making a productive use of this property and that means jobs and tax revenue for the city of Burien.”
The vision Creighton referred to is the Northeast Redevelopment Area (NERA), which was created in 1997 as an area impacted by current and future aviation activities at SeaTac. The City of Burien and the Port of Seattle worked together on the vision to accomplish goals for the area. NERA is an industrial-zoned segment of land adjacent to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
“The results of this ten-year planning effort are the first steps toward making the City of Burien’s and Port of Seattle’s visions a reality. I recognized the synergies between the goals of the public and private sectors, and collaborated with all parties to assemble the land and bring suitable developers and end user options,” said Mathews. “This project will spur economic development to support families in the region for years to come,” he said.
When the group broke ground on the project back in September of last year, Mathews said, “They (City of Burien) don’t really want big dry warehouses, they want more food-oriented or processing-oriented so they get the job counts. So the cold storage provides a catalyst for the processors because they can hold raw product and high number of jobs in food processing to the economy,” he said.
“New cold storage facilities are needed to meet stringent code regulations for food safety, storage, and transportation.” offered Western Distribution Services President, John Naylor. “I believe in the Port’s Century Agenda and the benefit of the Burien site’s proximity to the airport and critical shipping routes. This new facility has created a new cold storage, and warehousing campus to serve the growing needs of an increasingly regulated and growing retail food services sector; along with the imports and exports of seafood and other foods.”
Dan Mathews and Mike Newton represented both parties in this project.