Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vancouver USA Port Extends Food Processor Lease

The Port of Vancouver USA has approved a three-year lease extension to food processor Neil Jones Food Company, which operates its Northwest Packing Company (NWP) facility on a 15.5-acre parcel at the port.

Port officials said that the lease extension would provide NWP and the port the ability to "accommodate long range planning prior to negotiating mutually agreeable terms for the 25-year extension."

Neil Jones specializes in canned tomatoes, tomato sauces, fruits, fruit sauces, and fruit juice concentrates. The NWP facility handles the firm's Oregon Trail, Earthpure and NWPacking brands.

The current 25-year lease, which began in 1986 and expires at the end of this year, affords NWP the option to seek an additional 25-year lease. The three-year extension approved Tuesday does not affect the optional 25-year lease, but merely extends the current lease through December 31, 2014.

As part of the lease review process, the boundaries of the NWP were adjusted to better reflect the actual site area in use today by the firm. The changes resulted in a net reduction to the parcel of just over 14,000 square feet to just over 676,000 square feet. This readjustment also lowered NWP's rent by just over $450 a month. Due to the discovery of the changed land use, the port also plans to remit a credit of just under $25,000 to NWP in recognition of the overpayment of rent.

The NWP facility currently employs 150 full-time employees on a year-round basis and up to an additional 280 full-time employees during the peak harvest and packing seasons.

The facility is one of three operated by the privately owned and family-run Neil Jones Food Co. which is based in Vancouver.