November 5, 2013 - Recognizing the value of manufacturing jobs to the region's economy, the Port of Grays Harbor Commissioners considered an innovative approach to revitalizing a shuttered manufacturing facility at Satsop Business Park during a special meeting Tuesday, November 5th.
The Port Commission granted Executive Director, Gary Nelson, authority to execute a $1.3 million Promissory Note and enter into an agreement with receiver Pivotal Solutions to purchase the assets of the NewWood Facility.
NewWood Corporation, which has been in receivership since November 2012, includes equipment assets that are located in a Port-owned building. In addition, the assets include intellectual property on the process of turning scrap plastics into usable building material. Attempts to find an operator to assume the lease and purchase the assets have been unsuccessful thus far but the latest two-fold approach may solve both issues.
"After analyzing the risk of the purchase of the assets against the rewards should we succeed in finding a user for the site, my fellow Commissioners and I felt the jobs and economic activity created, hedged against the liquidation value of the equipment, mitigated any financial risk to the Port," explained Port Commission President Chuck Caldwell. “The facility is the centerpiece of the Satsop Business Park and the reward of establishing a West Coast manufacturing and distribution hub of a sustainable, innovative recycled product will be jobs for our citizens and increased economic opportunities for our area businesses."
In conjunction, the Commissioners also granted the Executive Director authority to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) with NewWood International, LLC, which outlines the terms of a lease and the potential purchase of the equipment and intellectual
property. Not associated in any way with the prior tenant, NewWood International is an affiliate of Triventas, a private investment firm based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, which presented to the Port Commission in June as a potential operator of the facility.
“This approach is the quickest and best way to get the facility up and running, and creating jobs for the region,” commented Gary Nelson, Executive Director. “We are hopeful Triventas will be a good tenant for the facility and bring it into production again in the shortest amount of time possible. Their commitment to success will be a win for all parties.”
“Encouraging the research and development of sustainable products, and getting them to market, is a key component of the Grays Harbor Sustainable Industries Innovation Partnership Zone (GHIPZ) of which the Port is the lead,” explained Alissa Shay, Manager of Business Development at Satsop Business Park. “The opportunity to work with this new partner on this innovative product and see it through commercialization is right in line with the Commissioners’ goals for the GHIPZ. Our hope is that success at this facility will spin into success for other Grays Harbor businesses.”
A component of the Asset Purchase Agreement with Pivotal Solutions is that all equipment be free of liens. A benefit of this is that personal property taxes owed to Grays Harbor County will be paid from the proceeds of the sale.
The NewWood Facility at the Satsop Business Park sits on a 19.67 acre site with more than 290,000 square feet of warehouse space containing millions of dollars in manufacturing equipment. The Port is hopeful the newly formed NewWood International will bring the facility into operations in the near future.