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Published by the Port of Walla Walla
2004 / 2005
Port begins Key project to protect local jobs, payroll

   The Port of Walla Walla has initiated a multi-million dollar expansion of its Key Technology building in the Avery Industrial Park. The project provides for the addition of more than 20,000 square feet to the Key headquarters to give the company space to “streamline” its operations.
   Once completed, the $2.8 million additions will allow Key to vacate a Port-owned building the manufacturer has been leasing on East Melrose, Walla Walla, and centralize its entire operations at a single site.
   Officials of Key Technology, a leader in the design, manufacture and sale of a broad line of inspection systems for the food processing industry, elected to streamline its operations to become more efficient and cost competitive in global market.
   Port Commission President Ken Jantz said assisting Key by expanding a Port owned building is an important investment in Walla Walla County’s economic future.
   “Business retention is an important aspect of our economic development strategy,” Jantz emphasized, “and this endeavor will help Key maintain the family-wage jobs held by the 123 employees at the Melrose site.”
   The project is funded in part by a $250,000 grant and $750,000 loan from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB).
   CERB Chair Judith Boekholder described the partnership between the Port of Walla Walla and Key Techology as “a sterling example of the power of strategic investment of CERB funds to help foster a better tomorrow.”

The Port of Walla Walla’s $2.8 million expansion of its Key Technology building in the Avery Industrial Park includes A) a larger manufacturing bay, (B) an expanded research and development area and (C) more employee parking.

Regional beverage distributor leases Port building in Walla Walla’s Eastgate

Odom NW Distributing stays in Walla Walla 

    “For us, it became a business retention issue for the Port of Walla Walla,” says Jim Kuntz, executive director. “Odom also looked very hard at Tri-Cities as a place for a distribution center. We wanted to keep the employment base here.”
   Now that its moved from its Abadie Street warehouse to the larger Isaacs facility, Odom expects to provide full and part-time jobs for as many as 30 people.
   The Port invested some $650,000 in what Kuntz called “general upgrades” to the building at 3301 East Isaacs.
   Odom’s local manager, Jack Cosgrove said, “The Port worked diligently us into that building so we could the jobs here in Walla Walla.”    Odom has a five-year lease with five-year options. The firm also agreement to buy out the lease after three years.
   The Odom Corporation, an Alaska based company, purchased Hewitt Distributing in Walla Walla in 1999 bought the Eastern Washington Northern Idaho rights of Columbia Distribution in 2004.

This Port-owned office and warehouse facility on Isaacs in Walla Walla is the new home of Odom NW Distributing.
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