December 21, 2016
The Port of Grays Harbor Special Commission Meeting on December 21, 2016 was called to order at 2:00 p.m.
Gary Nelson, Executive Director, led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:
COMMISSION AND STAFF
Chuck Caldwell - Commissioner
Stan Pinnick - Commissioner
Jack Thompson - Commissioner
Arthur Blauvelt - Legal Counsel
Gary Nelson - Executive Director
Mary Nelson - Director of Finance & Administration
Leonard Barnes - Deputy Executive Director
Mike Johnson - Contract & Project Manager
Alissa Shay - Manager of Business Development
Marisa Yauch - Executive Administrative Assistant
Kayla Dunlap - Public Affairs Manager
Ross Read - Operations Manager
Jackie Farra - Ocean Shores Citizen
Chris Herman - WPPA
Carter Lee - Overstock.com
Sytease Geib - Pacific Mountain
Sean Murphy - Pacific Mountain
Vickie Raines - GHC Commissioner
Jim Minkler - GH College
Dave Ward - GH PUD
Kyle Pauley - KXRO News
Items discussed and action taken where required is as follows:
Action Item No. 1
Alissa Shay reported on the interest of Overstock.com to occupy 19,447 sq. ft. of the Flex Tech building at Satsop Business Park. The request for this item is for authorization to approve Satsop Business Park Lease No. 2016-L325, Overstock.com, LLC.
Ms. Shay introduced Carter Lee, Senior Vice President at Overstock.com to provide more information on their plans as a new tenant at SBP. Mr. Lee told the Commission they plan to add a customer service call center location for their online business. They base their business on strong customer service and are looking for a certain type of people for this work. They are excited to have found Grays Harbor and SBP; they feel they will be able to find highly qualified employees for these positions. The executives of Overstock.com have had positive experiences with all they have encountered in Grays Harbor and look forward to doing business in the county. This will be their first call center in the Pacific Northwest and they are happy to have fairly close proximity to their headquarters located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Other locations they run are on the East Coast so they were looking for something on the West Coast for this new center.
They are impressed with the building overall. The wiring is ready to go and it will require minimal updates to building security and such to be up and running.
Commissioner Pinnick asked for a timeline on the plans. Mr. Lee replied they plan to be hiring in February for training right away. By March and April they plan to have people begin working with a goal of hiring about 50 each month of March, April and May for a total of approximately 150 local jobs.
Commissioner Caldwell asked if there was anything else they will need to get the business started. Mr. Lee replied that they are actually leasing a bit more space than they anticipate needing and they should have everything they need once the small improvements are completed by the Port as outlined in the lease agreement.
Ms. Shay went over the lease terms and conditions in full. It is a three year lease term beginning January 1, 2017 with options to renew.
Commissioner Thompson invited the public to comment.
Jackie Farra from Ocean Shores asked for a bit more information about the company and what they do. Mr. Lee stated that Overstock.com is a website where people can purchase mostly furniture and home goods online. When the company began in 1999 it was based on an overstock of items from other companies that exceeded their needs. The company has since expanded their model to include new items specifically for sale through Overstock.com. Their revenue is roughly 1.8 billion in sales annually.
Ms. Farra then asked if there would be any merchandise on site. Mr. Lee replied that there will be no merchandise at the Satsop location. This space will be specifically for a call center. When an order is placed it is fulfilled through various warehouses throughout the country. The call center business hours here will likely be 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m or in that area. They do not anticipate the need for this call center to be available for calls through the late night hours.
Commissioner Vickie Raines stated her excitement for this to benefit Grays Harbor. She is very happy this worked out and welcomes the new business to the area.
Dave Ward, PUD Manager, stated this will be a very positive addition at Satsop. He is also very pleased for the new tenant in the area; great news for Grays Harbor.
Jim Minkler, President of Grays Harbor College, stated his support and excitement for this new business in Grays Harbor. They would be happy to partner in an education or training program for employees if needed and welcome Overstock.com to the area.
Alissa Shay thanked all of the many partners involved in this coming together. They were critical in making sure that all of the questions proposed by Overstock.com were answered clearly and efficiently so they were able to confidently choose Satsop as their call center location.
Motion to authorize the Executive Director to negotiate Lease 2016-L325 with Overstock.com, was made by Commissioner Caldwell and Seconded by Commissioner Pinnick. Motion passed with a vote of 3-0.
The Special Meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.