A California timber company, Sierra Pacific Industries, the second-largest lumber producer in the nation, is assembling a site at Frederickson in southern Pierce County to build a major new sawmill that could employ as many as 200 workers. The company is still in what local economic development officials and the company call the “due diligence phase” of its project.

“We’re still doing feasibility analysis at this stage,” said Mark Pawlicki, a Sierra Pacific spokesman. During that phase, the company is investigating the potential benefits and detriments of the site they’ve picked to determine whether building there will be economically feasible.

“They’ve not pulled the trigger on the project yet,” said Denise Dyer, Pierce County’s economic development director. “They’ve not been very public about their plans because they want to be sure about all of the issues before they make a decision.”

Pawlicki said that while the company hasn’t made a firm decision about the Frederickson project, the site is “a nice piece of property” because of its industrial zoning and its access to rail. The potential sawmill site sits near existing Ikea and Whirlpool distribution warehouses at the intersection of 38th Avenue East and 200th Street East. Pawlicki said the site eventually could be as large as 270 acres.

According to local real estate sources, the timber company, through a related company, Frederickson Industrial Park LLC, has been taking options and buying parcels of land in the area with contingencies relating to environmental and other issues at the site. The latest of those deals was a two-parcel contingent sale last week in which the Port of Tacoma agreed to sell Frederickson Industrial Park LLC land at 196th Street East and Canyon Road East. Under the terms of that sale, approved by the Port of Tacoma Commission at its Thursday meeting, the development company would pay the port nearly $3.2 million for the property. The company offer included $50,000 in earnest money for the two parcels.

From The News Tribune: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/06/10/3235955/frederickson-site-under-consideration.html