The Chehalis City Council received an update from Brandon Rakes, Operations Coordinator at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport, on the current and future financial outlook for the airport during a regular council meeting on Monday.
Rakes informed the council that airport staff had recently completed the Washington Aviation Economic Impact Study administered by the state Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration.
The final results of the study won’t be known for some time, but preliminary information included an estimated 1,150 persons employed on Chehalis-Centralia Airport property and an estimated $235 million annual sales volume on said property.
Rakes also brought councilors up to speed on the partnership between the city and Rich Development Enterprises, which recently agreed to lease a large tract of airport land between I-5 Toyota and Dutch Bros. Coffee. The due diligence period enacted when both parties signed the lease agreement is set to expire on March 15.
Rakes said he spoke last week with Greg Vena, senior vice president of acquisitions and development for Rich Development, who said his agency recently made significant progress with a potential anchor tenant for the land.
Rich Development is expected to break ground on a 70,000 square-foot shopping center as early as August or September of this year, Rakes said. He added that once construction begins, he expects an increased demand for remaining tracts of developable airport land.