CASHMERE — From a lumber mill to a business park with two new buildings, property along Sunset Highway has been transformed.
The process was completed Monday with the dedication of the redeveloped Cashmere Mill Site.
Gov. Jay Inslee joined other elected officials, business leaders and residents to celebrate. He said he was excited about jobs being added in Chelan County.
“I get to go to places like Boeing and Microsoft and Amazon — large employers — but the most exciting growth is the kind of growth right here in Cashmere, where we have the joining of high tech with the agricultural industry,” he said. “To me, this dynamic that is going on — particularly in central and eastern Washington — of joining the world’s best land with the world’s best sunshine with the world’s cleanest water with new technology where we can gain new markets around the world is truly exciting to me.”
The Port of Chelan County bought the 32.5 acres for $1.5 million in 2008. A $6.6 million cleanup and road improvement project through the state Department of Ecology and Community Economic Development Revitalization Board followed.
Louws Truss bought 4 acres in 2017, and last fall the port broke ground on two 16,500-square-foot industrial buildings. It’s secured two anchor tenants: Hurst International, a fruit label printer and equipment manufacturer, and Blue Spirits Distilling.
“Our technology, which is printed on demand, allows for specific information on that single label of a fruit to be traced back all the way to the orchard,” said Ari Lichtenberg, president and CEO of California-based Hurst International. “This way, the entire supply chain can find out where that produce comes from and where it goes to, and the consumer has the ability to recognize that that product has complete traceability and food safety attached to it.”
Jeffrey Soehren, managing member of Blue Spirits Distilling, said the company now sells its products at more than 400 locations statewide, including Leavenworth.
“This facility here will allow us to grow outside the state and will actually allow us to grow internationally,” he said. “We have a licensing agreement that will allow us to move substantially, grow substantially larger, and actually become the largest distillery in the state. This is entrepreneurialism at its best.”