The Chelan Douglas Port Authority is getting a nearly $5 million federal grant to develop a "trades district" at the Pangborn Airport Business Park. 

Port commissioners have signed off on a required covenant on the property to access the grant from the Economic Development Administration, also know as the EDA.

Port CEO Jim Kuntz says the covenant serves as a guarantee for the agency. 

"This gives EDA the protection that a board in five years won't sell the property or start selling buildings and doing things going off in a different direction because they want their $4.9 million back," said Kuntz.  

The 8-acre site includes 25 pods in varying stages of construction that were abandoned by the failed crypto currency company Giga Watt. 

The buildings will be repurposed to house small businesses. The 25 buildings will contain nearly 31,000 square feet of potential business space.  

The Port hired Design West Architects to create a plan to redevelop the site to serve small businesses that need reasonably priced production space. This would include start-up businesses and existing small businesses needing to expand.   

The Port thinks the pods could assist with the growth of underserved, Latino owned or young startup businesses through an incubator program.   

Target tenants would include: 

  • Workshop spaces (metal shop/woodworking/cabinet shops etc.) 
  • Specialty trade spaces (HVAC/electrical/plumbing/ contractor shops) 
  • Production shops (bakery/microbrew/wineries) 
  • Limited retail (coffee shop/art studio/food trucks) 

The Port has secured funding, at the federal and state level, to complete Phase 1 of this project which includes building out 12 pods.   

The project is currently at the schematic design level. 

Image of Trades District layout from Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority
Image of Trades District layout from Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority

The intention is to build-out each structure as a self-contained space suitable for a variety of business needs. Buildings will range from 1,590 square feet to 2,304 square feet. 

The design of the project is scheduled to be completed by June. Construction is scheduled to begin in September with completion by the summer of next year. 

The Port is using a covenant to secure the federal grant because it would otherwise be required to provide a mortgage or lien, which the Port does not have the authority to do. 

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