Developer Plans Major Distribution and Manufacturing Facility in Clackamas, Ore.

Oct. 14--CLACKAMAS -- Five concrete buildings, totaling almost 400,000 square feet, are planned on one of the biggest undeveloped sites remaining in the Clackamas Industrial Area.

Vancouver-based developer Jeff Gordon has bought 20.6 acres on Southeast Capps Road for $4.6 million. Gordon's firm, Investment Development Management, plans to construct 389,000 square feet of building space for warehouse, distribution or manufacturing use.

The complex will be known as Clackamas Commons, with the buildings available for lease, lease option or sale.

The vacant land, previously owned by Mike Warn, former Warn Industries owner, and Larry Jensen, former head of the Warn Industries financial department, is just west of the Warn Industries automotive parts factory on Capps Road.

Brett Bayne, a partner at Macadam Forbes commercial real estate brokerage in Portland, said excavation has started for the first two buildings, totaling 192,000 square feet. They are scheduled for completion next spring.

The larger of those buildings at 120,350 square feet has been pre-sold to vitamins manufacturer HealthWright Products for an expansion.

Gordon will retain ownership of the smaller building and will offer to lease or sell industrial space. He said he plans to start construction of the other three buildings next June.

Gordon, who has developed several other industrial and mixed-use complexes in the Portland-Vancouver area, said he began considering the Clackamas site three years ago.

"It's a great location, and brokers feel our timing is good. It's market driven," Gordon said.

HealthWright has about 40 employees producing vitamins and other dietary supplements in 29,000 square feet leased on Southeast Jennifer Street a half-mile from the Capps Road property. Co-owner Mark Wright expects to hire eight to 10 additional employees when his new plant opens.

Wright said increasing demand for health supplements in this country and overseas is fueling his expansion. HealthWright contracts to make the supplements for companies that market the products.

In April, Clackamas County commissioners excluded the Clackamas Industrial Area from county transportation requirements, such as traffic lights or related street improvements. Shelly Parini, business/economic development manager for Clackamas County, said HealthWright is one of at least seven companies that will gain from the exclusion.

Without the waiver, traffic signals and other work at the intersection of Evelyn and Jennifer streets would have cost about $750,000, Bayne said, enough to prompt HealthWright to look for another site.

Parini said other factors will spur industrial development in Clackamas, such as the absence of county business income taxes and license taxes. In addition, funding for the first phase of the Sunrise Corridor alignment "gives companies more certainty about expanding in an area that will be able to accommodate their future transportation needs," she said.