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MPM Vintners leases portion of Portís Crown Cork & Seal Building

   The Port has entered into a lease agreement with MPM Vintners for 16,000 square feet within the Port-owned Crown Cork & Seal building.    MPM Vintners will offer an array of wine making services, ranging from sourcing and crushing of valley grown grapes, to fermentation, aging, bottling, and labeling of wines according to customer specifications. MPM Vintners will employ its own winemaker and staff working under the direction of Norm McKibben and Jean-Francois Pellet.
   Port Commission President Paul Schneidmiller said, “MPM Vintners will be a great anchor tenant. The Port feels fortunate to be working with a group so

Dunham Cellars expands winery on Port property

Dunham Cellars is a successful example of the public-private partnership that works well for Walla Walla Valley wineries that have chosen the airport industrial park for their operations. Mike Dunham and his son, Eric, owners of the seven-year old winery have recently completed a major expansion of their plant on Port-owned property. The Dunhams said the decision to build the new 10,000 square foot structure on land leased from the Port made sense because of the success enjoyed with their original location. Mike Dunham said building next to Dunham Cellars first site allowed the winemakers to meld the state-of-the-art features of the new space with what was already there. The added structure provides a temperature and humidity controlled environment for up to 1,800 barrels and includes a modern laboratory plus a conference room that quickly converts to a studio apartment for visiting wine writers and customers. Dunham Cellars opened at its present airport location in 1999.

Crown Cork & Seal Building at 1106 Dell Avenue,Walla Walla, will house new wine making operation. Photo by Lasater

well versed and respected in the wine industry.” MPM Vintners and the Port will refurbish the space in preparation for operations beginning with the 2007 grape harvest.

The Crown Cork & Seal Building encompasses 194,000 square feet. The Port foresees additional wine related businesses will be interested in leasing space in the building.

Port-assisted companies have important impact on Walla Walla County’s economic health, generate $179 million payroll

Highly valued support from the Port of Walla Walla has made a significant difference to more than two dozen major employers in Walla Walla County. And while each has benefited in individual ways, the end result has been a growing number of jobs and an increasingly important gain in property tax income. According to Paul Schneidmiller, Port Commission President, industry support includes funding everything from transportation systems and site development to shipping alternatives and manufacturing facilities. All together, the 27 Port-assisted businesses tracked during 2005 (the most recent year for complete statistics) generated a $179 million payroll for some 5,600 people. Schneidmiller said the salary sum added up to 24.4 percent of total wages in Walla Walla County. The number of workers represented more than one fifth - 20.3 percent - of the county’s employed workforce, he continued. Port Executive Director Jim Kuntz explained that for every dollar the Port

receives in taxpayer support, businesses assisted by the Port pay back more than $3.32 in property taxes. “It adds up to an impressive return on investment,” Kuntz emphasized. According to county records, companies assisted by the Port paid more than $4.9 million in property taxes last year...a number that amounts to 10 percent of all property taxes collected by Walla Walla County in 2005.

Did You Know?

  • Six out of the top 10 largest taxpayers in Walla Walla are Port-assisted companies.

  • Of the 40 largest employers
    in Walla Walla County, 11 are Port-assisted companies.

  • Taxes paid by companies
    assisted by the Port in 2005
    totaled $4,905,122.


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