By JESSE BURKHARDT
A "mystery tenant" has some big plans for White Salmon's riverfront land along the Columbia River, but the identity of that tenant has not yet been revealed.
A Bend, Ore., developer -- Taylor Pickhardt Development LLC -- is proposing to construct a 36,000 square foot commercial building east of Bridge RV Park and the tribal fish packing facility and west of North Sports.
According to documents filed with the city of White Salmon, development of the roughly two acre site would include a building for light industrial use that would take up to 30,000 square feet and "flex" space of up to 6,000 square feet. It would "create or retain jobs for approximately 80 [full-time] employees." The facility's parking lot would offer parking for 108 vehicles.
The site of the proposed building is currently vacant, and is zoned "riverfront district." Commercial use is permitted under the riverfront zoning.
As getting new water connections has been a problem in recent years, the proponent is working with the cities of White Salmon and Bingen "to secure water service."
Recently, Bingen and White Salmon have pursued an agreement in which White Salmon could purchase water from Bingen to White Salmon to accommodate possible development along the Columbia River waterfront area. Bingen currently has excess water rights, while White Salmon is under a water connection moratorium due to exceeding its water rights.
"We would pay Bingen for the amount of water used," explained White Salmon Mayor David Poucher.
Taylor Pickhardt Development spokesperson Elizabeth Justema declined to provide any details about the developer's plans.
"I cannot give any more information at this time," Justema said. "In a week or two, yes, but not now."
"They want to build office space, and we very much want office space," said Poucher.
Poucher added that the current zoning of the property allows offices outright.
"I don't see any snags," Poucher said.
As for who will occupy the proposed new building, Poucher said that information has not yet been provided to city officials.
"They haven't shared that with us," Poucher explained.
A Web site described Bend's Taylor Pickhardt Development LLC as "a real estate development company specializing in creating residential and commercial properties ... TPD principals have participated in numerous, regional development projects including an infrastructure redevelopment project at the former Bend Bulletin site; an industrial development in Madras, Ore.; recurring projects for St. Charles Medical Center; a historic renovation project in Hood River, Ore.; a commercial subdivision project in Sisters, Ore.; and a 1,000-acre community in Madras-Yarrow."