Winlock Benaroya Industrial Park has signed its first contract. Lowe's will be coming to the industrial park with a 1.2 million square foot building. The process to get here has been long and arduous.
The project started nearly 20 years ago, with the purchase of land by the Benaroya Company. Former mayor Cy Meyers, worked diligently to get the area into the Winlock Urban Growth Area, the largest expansion ever. Then about 4 years ago, former Mayor Lonnie Dowell started to work on the project. He was able to obtain the funding for the waterline, which runs along Hwy 505. Former Mayor Lonnie Dowell, reignited the desire to get the industrial park going and he worked with the county to do so.
Then, former Mayor Donald Bradshaw was elected and broke ground to keep the project going. He continued with former Dowell's vision to get the Industrial park built for Winlock. He put in the waterline with the funds Dowell received in his term. Former Mayor Bradshaw worked with the Lewis County Economic Development Council and Lewis County to get the funding for Mickelsen Parkway, which he received. The county took over the project of Mickelsen Parkway from the City of Winlock in 2019. Commissioner Fund and Commissioner Stamper were instrumental in ensuring that Mickelsen Parkway was built to code with the proper utilities in place.
Commissioner Fund stated, "When the Economic Development Council called about Lowe's coming to the Benaroya Winlock property, I immediately thought of former Winlock Mayor Cy Meyers who had the foresight to plan for future development. I thought of the MANY people who played a crucial part through the years. I also remember sitting in the Benaroya office - talking with Larry Benaroya and Lisa Goodman, Benaroya Marketing Director, about their marketing materials. We added what Lewis County has to offer - both north and south I-5 and east and west state Hwy 12. We added amenities of recreational fishing, hiking, and camping. Lower taxes. The conversation was exciting! Networking/never giving up/communicating is the key. Welcome, Lowe's, to Lewis County! Thank you, Benaroya for believing in Lewis County."
Mayor Svenson has been working with the county to get funds for the sewer. Since it is in Winlock's UGA, Winlock must complete the application. Mayor Svenson stated, "I'm currently working on the sewer funds with the Lewis County Economic Development Council. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Lowe's to Winlock and look forward to working with them as they set up their distribution center."
Winlock City Council Member Anne Randt, who was part of the former council and current council member is the only person to see the project through from two administrations, stated, "It is exciting to see progress being made at Mickelsen Parkway and Benaroya Industrial Park with a hope that employment and businesses will follow for our local community."
Many have been involved in the project over the years, mayors, county commissioners and Lewis County Economic Development Council and Benaroya Company. It is hoped that after the project is built it will supply jobs and benefits to Winlock residents.