PASCO — Construction is beginning on the first of two massive distribution warehouses in east Pasco that will be among the largest in North America.
Each will exceed 1 million square feet, according to city of Pasco and state documents.
So far city officials have issued the building permit for one warehouse valued at $100 million. The second has yet to be issued.
Permits for the utilities and infrastructure and the price of the land for both warehouses totals another $50 million.
The facilities will be near the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers in Franklin County.
The area near railroad and trucking operations at the Big Pasco Industrial Center is just west of Highway 12.
Ryan Companies based in Bellevue is the contractor and builder of the project on South Road 40 East.
The company has been the developer of multiple large-scale projects across the U.S., including a Target food distribution center in Texas, Shutterfly in Minnesota and a 2.3 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center in Tuscon, Arizona, in 2019.
Speculative comments are that the warehouses, called “Project Oyster” and “Project Pearl” in city and state documents, will be for an Amazon fulfillment center, but the Herald was unable to confirm that.
Ryan Companies’ project manager referred Herald questions to the company’s marketing team but they could not be reached last week.
Project Oyster Pasco was registered with the Washington Secretary of State as a limited liability company in August. Project Pearl was registered with the state at the beginning of September.
Excavating already is underway for Project Oyster and building permits were approved in late August. Work is scheduled to finish in August 2022, according to documents filed with Washington’s Department of Ecology.
The two warehouses will be among the Top 10 largest in North America, according to a list from Damotech published this month. Damotech calls itself the largest provider of warehouse rack safety systems.
Boeing’s Everett Field Factory is No. 2 at 4.3 million square feet.
When finished, the Pasco warehouses would come in at No. 8 on Damotech’s list.
For perspective, each Pasco warehouse will be larger than CenturyLink Field where the Seattle Seahawks play. That stadium is 900,000 square feet.
Amazon already has a presence in the Tri-Cities. An Amazon support call center has been in Kennewick since 2005 years and employs at least 500 people.
The company also is expanding across the region. Two Amazon data center campuses are being built in Umatilla, Oregon, by Amazon Data Services for $200 million.
The Project Oyster warehouse will be built on land that was part of a purchase of 10 parcels at a price of $6 million.
Seven parcels were bought for $5 million from Columbia East LLC, led by Robert Tippet of the Pasco brokerage firm Tippett Co.
Project Oyster LLC paid slightly less that $150,000 in taxes on the sale, according to Department of Revenue tax records.
Three parcels also were purchased from the Wilson Sisters LLC for about $1 million. Both land sales were finalized in early August.
Initial permits for the second warehouse, Project Pearl, lagged slightly behind the first and were approved earlier this month.
The costs of infrastructure at the site for just the water, sewer and other improvements ring in at more than $32 million.
That second warehouse will be across the street on 104 acres at 1202 S. Road 40 East, according to city building permits and documents filed with the state.
The Franklin County Assessor’s office lists the land, appraised at $1.2 million, as still being owned by Columbia East.
However, Department of Revenue records show that a $6.7 million sale to Project Pearl closed in early September with $207,000 being paid in excise taxes.