WENATCHEE — Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority commissioners on Tuesday proceeded with buying 23 acres along the Malaga Alcoa Highway, which it likely will sell to Microsoft.
It’s one of several properties in which the port is acting as the go-between for the tech company.
The latest purchase at 5101 Malaga Alcoa Highway includes a mobile home that its current inhabitants could lease for up to two years after closing, under the purchase and sale agreement signed in April.
Marsha Hays owns the property and mobile home, which is diagonally across the street from property on which Microsoft possibly could build six buildings to expand its cloud storage system.
The company purchased 72.5 acres from the port at 5375 Malaga Alcoa Highway on June 24. It also intends to buy two adjacent parcels from the port totaling about 30 acres, as well as the Hays property. The port is buying another nearby 70-acre property where it likely will operate a wastewater facility for Microsoft. The data centers use water to cool equipment through evaporation, and the water must be disposed of properly.
“(Port CEO) Jim (Kuntz) did have a conversation toward the end of last week with Microsoft who still is 100% in moving forward with this property, as well,” said Monica Lough, port director of finance and administration. “We do not have a written agreement with them on it, but they are committed to reimbursing us for the cost of the purchase.”
Lough said the port has bought out other tenants’ leases, which could happen in the case of the current Hays property tenant.
In the Hays-port agreement, the port paid $34,000 in earnest money and will buy the property for $685,650. The port had 120 days to determine whether the property was feasible for its uses, which ended Wednesday. The port also completed its environmental assessment.
Now, the sale could be complete within a month.
The property is currently zoned as “rural industrial” with a minimum 5-acre lot size. The port or Microsoft will apply to Chelan County to change the zoning to “industrial,” which has fewer strict guidelines, according to documents.
“We just continue to try to put together some additional property for future expansion (for Microsoft and in general),” Kuntz said.
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