The Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority is purchasing land adjacent to the Big Y highway intersection in Peshastin. 

Port Director of Economic Development & Capital Projects Stacie de Mestre says the property will add to their stockpile of industrial-zoned land for future development but could also serve a more immediate purpose. 

Image from Chelan County
Image from Chelan County

"We're looking at it for a potential replacement site for the firing range that our local law enforcement agencies use," said de Mestre. "Their current facility is located in Malaga." 

The port is hoping to buy the Firing Range Association site in Malaga to possibly sell to Microsoft, which is building large data centers on adjoining land. 

The Port is spending $1 million to buy the land at 7785 Blewett Cutoff Road, Peshastin. Port commissioners at their last meeting voted to enter a purchase and sale agreement with current owner Cornelius Holdings LLC. 

The cost will be $166,000 per acre for the roughly six-acre site.  

The port has 120 days to conduct due diligence on the Cornelius land to ensure there's an ability to have water on the site, and to make sure the site has accessibility, among other things. The agreement also includes a $25,000 deposit that is nonrefundable unless negative environmental issues are associated with the site. 

In addition to possibly moving the Firing Range to the site, the Port has an interest in acquiring as much property as possible that is zoned for industrial use. Such land is at a premium in Chelan County, which is 88 percent owned by federal and state agencies that manage the county's vast amount of forestland. 

The Firing Range Association owns 10.75 acres at 5243 Malaga Alcoa Hwy, Malaga. It borders 72.5 acres the port bought from Lojo Orchards LLC in 2020 for $1,369,085 and sold to Microsoft in 2022. The Port also paid $1.5 million for 20 acres inside the Lojo property from Darlene K Curtis, and subsequently sold to Microsoft. 

Image of Malaga land holdings at and near the site of Microsoft Data Center construction
Image of Malaga land holdings at and near the site of Microsoft Data Center construction

The tech giant is building three data centers on the land which will begin operations next year.  

The firing range is also located next to several parcels already owned by the Port. de Mestre says purchasing it would further extend The Port's assets for future development. 

"This property is right in the middle of property we own around it, so we're just trying to get contiguous land," de Mestre said. It's going through a rezone process, so we'd have a continuous bank of industrial land in Malaga if we're able to purchase the firing range property. 

The Port could also sell the property to Microsoft, which has plans for as many as six data center buildings in Malaga. 

The 10 Trashiest Towns in Washington State

A new survey says these are the 10 trashiest towns in Washington State, do you agree or disagree?

Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals