Port Angeles: Resort developer proposes complex on site of former
Rayonier pulp mill - -- - including an old aircraft carrier
PORT ANGELES -- A California-based resort developer wants to acquire the 75-acre site of the former Rayonier Inc. pulp mill and build a $120 million waterfront resort.
Jerry Ward, a retired engineer from Palm Desert, Calif., proposes 322 timeshare condominiums, a recreational water park, intertidal aquarium and research center, and a five-level, 750-car parking garage with an elevated 5,000-foot passenger rail line over the Olympic Discovery Trail leading to the Port Angeles ferry terminals.
The development would produce 400 jobs, he said.
``I wanted to have a resort on the north and south end of the Olympic Peninsula,'' Ward said, explaining why he chose the Rayonier site.
Ward, who expects to begin construction of a $55 million time-share condo, water park and aquarium project in Ocean Shores on Oct. 1, also proposes mooring the mothballed Navy aircraft carrier USS Ranger to a pier off the site, which would house a naval-aerospace museum, complete with planes on display.
Resort complex would employ up to 400, developer says
PORT ANGELES -- Developer Jerry Ward figures his $120 million resort on the Rayonier pulp mill site would ultimately employ between 350 and 400 people.
He said the water park and aquarium alone would provide 180 jobs.
``Using a conservative salary figure of $12.50 per hour, the project will result in salaries between $10.5 million and $13 million,'' Ward's project narrative states.
In an interview with the PDN on Wednesday, Ward said wages would range from $100,000 a year for executives to minimum wage for maids.
He said the $12.50 hourly figure represents the average wage of all worker salaries combined.
Details of Rayonier property idea due Thursday
The future of the old Rayonier mill property could become a little clearer this week, with a developer expected to announce his ideas for developing the Ennis Creek property for a variety of uses.
Port Angeles officials say they’ve been talking with Jerry Ward for some time now about the potential to develop the mill site, which has been vacant since the mill ceased operations more than 5 years ago. PNN has learned that Ward will be in Port Angeles Thursday to show the property to potential partners in the project, and to hold a press conference to explain the details of his idea.
Ward has already been working on a similar project in Ocean Shores that would feature a mix of residential and retail space, coupled specifically in that project with an aquarium. Groundbreaking for that development is expected later this fall.
Here at the Rayonier mill site, it’s expected Ward would take much the same approach with a mix of uses on the property, although we’ll have many more details following Thursday’s press conference.
And although Ward is proposing his ideas now, it will be a few years before they can become a reality. Because the mill property is an industrial site, it must still be cleaned for contamination to the satisfaction of the Department of Ecology.
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