The Port of Coos Bay could soon be home to a multi-model shipping facility.
The Port of Coos Bay Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Friday to give CEO John Burns authority to negotiate the purchase of the former Georgia Pacific mill site near downtown Coos Bay. If the purchase goes through, the port is looking to build a site to offload shipping containers.
Burns told commissioners one of the most common requests he hears is from companies that want to have a place to offload products in this region.
"The port is regularly approached by companies eager to move commodities through a terminal in Coos Bay," Burns said. "Because the port does not currently own or operate a terminal, many of these inquiries are referred to other terminals, put on standby or turned away from the Port of Coos Bay."
Burns said if a shipping terminal was available, it would be a big benefit to the local and state economy.
"Acquiring property to develop a multi-model facility will create an economic boost for not only Southwest Oregon but the state of Oregon," Burns said. "Each ship call has a value to the local economy of approximately $750,000 to $1 million, and a terminal has the ability to create at least 100 family-wage jobs."
Burns said the port has been discussing the site of the old Georgia Pacific mill for many months and hopes to move forward with a purchase.
"In 2018, the Georgia Pacific site ended operations, resulting in the loss of over 125-family wage jobs," he said.
The location was purchased by Coos Bay LLC, and the port has been discussing the site with the company for six months.
The old mill site is 162 acres, of which 100 to 115 acres could be used for a multi-model facility. It has buildings on site and docks in place.
After Burns explained the idea, the board voted without comment to allow Burns to negotiate the purchase of the location with the idea of building a shipping terminal near downtown Coos Bay.