Posted on July 14, 2011

Journal of Business

Mike McLean / mikem@spokanejournal.com

The Spokane Business & Industrial Park says it recently has leased a total of more than 200,000 square feet of floor space to seven new tenants, including manufacturers and companies that service them, and companies that need new distribution centers.

The new leases will bring the occupancy rate at the roughly 5 million-square-foot complex to 91 percent, says Dean Stuart, the SBIP's marketing director.

"The amount of square footage of new deals so far this year will exceeds all of last year," Stuart says.

Of the new tenants, manufacturers are taking the largest spaces, he says.

"Manufacturers seem to be turning the corner and gearing up for better times ahead," Stuart says.

One new tenant, Haakon Industries Inc., a Richmond, British Columbia-based heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system manufacturer, says it has leased 40,000 square feet of space, and will open its second Spokane-area manufacturing plant there.

Haakon makes custom air-handling equipment for industrial applications, such as in hospitals, universities, laboratories, microchip manufacturing plants, and data centers, says Desiree McGee, Haakon's operations manager.

The company also operates a 110,000-square-foot plant at 1633 W. First, in Cheney, where it employs 180 people.

McGee Says Haakon plans to hire additional employees, although she declines to estimate how many. "That's still in the planning stages," she says.

Haakon currently is installing equipment and retrofitting some office and utility space at the Spokane Valley site, where it plans to begin operations next month, she says.

McGee declines to disclose the company's revenue, but says, "It definitely is growing."

Pyrotek Inc., a Spokane Valley-based manufacturer of products that help other manufacturers handle high-temperature materials, has leased 40,000 square feet of space in the SBIP and will move a manufacturing line there from Mexico, says Dean Stuart, director of marketing at The Park.

Pyrotek had announced the manufacturing move to Spokane Valley last month, but hadn't previously disclosed the address of the new location.

The company said in a press release it will hire 20 employees in Spokane Valley, invest $1 million in equipment and renovations there, and contribute $450,000 in new annual tax revenue to the state.

Pyrotek operates another manufacturing facility in Spokane Valley, at 9601 E. Montgomery, about five miles west of the SBIP.

Another manufacturer, American Alloy LLC, of Spokane Valley, has leased 60,000 square feet of space for metal fabrication and machining, Stuart says.

He says the company plans to move there from leased space at 18001 E. Euclid.

Some new tenants have leased space mainly for storage and distribution.

Oregon Metal Slitters Inc., a manufacturing-industry supplier, says it has leased 40,000 square feet of space and plans to open a distribution center to serve the Spokane-area market.

The Portland-based concern processes and distributes steel in rolled and sheet form, says Hans Polte, Oregon Metal Slitters' operations manager.

"We have customers in Spokane, and we're trying to service them better," Polte says.

The Valley distribution center will begin operations this month with three employees, he says.

"The hope is that sales will increase," Polte says. "The interest is there if we can get product to people in small quantities by the next day. We need to be there to make it easier on our salespeople."

Townshend Cellar Inc. also has turned to the SBIP for a storage and distribution site. The Colbert-based winemaker says it has leased 12,000 square feet of space for warehousing.

The Valley location will be handier for distribution, says Don Townshend, the company's owner.

Townshend Cellar currently stores its wines in an 8,000-square-foot warehouse in the Greenbluff area north of Spokane.

Waterglider LLC, a retailer of sports equipment and other products, has leased 4,000 square feet of space and has moved there from smaller quarters at the Spokane International Airport Business Park.

Sean McLaughlin and his wife, Jayne, own the business, which has no other employees. McLaughlin says Waterglider sells and distributes products primarily through Amazon.com.

Portland-based Marquez Inc., a tile, stone-product, and countertop supplier, which does business as Oregon Tile & Marble, has leased nearly 16,000 square feet of space and has opened a new outlet there, Stuart says.

Oregon Tile & Marble also operates outlets in Portland and Medford, Oregon, Seattle and Boise. Company executives couldn't be reached for comment.