Resort developer sees ``magic'' in his plan for old Rayonier mill
He's a gentle giant of a man who literally views his $120-million-plus proposal for the Rayonier pulp mill site in Port Angeles through rose-colored sunglasses.
``This is probably the most spectacular piece of property in the Puget Sound,'' California developer Jerry Ward told business leaders Thursday when he unveiled his plan.
Ward, who a week ago was unknown to most of the community outside of some Port Angeles City Hall officials and the Rayonier Inc. offices, wants to build a seven-story, 322-unit timeshare condominium complex on the defunct mill's 75-acre waterfront site at the north end of Ennis Street east of downtown.
The 64-year-old California-based resort developer/entrepreneur also proposes elaborate amenities to complement the condos, including an exotic fish aquarium and marine research center, a family-fun water park and a waterfront retail center.
The property would include a five-story, 750-vehicle parking garage with a monorail link 5,000 feet west to the MV Coho ferry terminal.
He would use a magnetic-levitation system called LEVX, developed by Karl ``Jerry'' Lamb, president and CEO of Magna Force Inc. of Port Angeles.
Who is the native Oregonian wanting to build a mega-resort on
Born June 25, 1939, in Prairie City, Ore., to one of the state's oldest farm families, Jerry Ward today has a professional history in large-scale U.S. and international construction projects as long as his tanned, tattooed arms.
Ward is the managing partner in Klamath Falls, Ore.-based International Resource Development Group.
The Daily World newspaper in Aberdeen obtained a company profile and Ward's resume from the city of Ocean Shores through a state open records request.
Ward is also proposing to build a timeshare resort in Ocean Shores.
His resume touts a construction and engineering background dating back to the late 1960s in Alaska with one of the original general engineering and construction companies involved in the development of Prudhoe Bay petroleum exploration fields on Alaska's North Slope.
``I almost lost my hands to gangrene while working on the North Slope,'' Ward said, holding up his hands to the an audience Thursday at the Port Angeles CrabHouse Restaurant, there to hear his presentation on a development proposal for the Rayonier pulp mill site.
Developer hopes to break ground soon on Ocean Shores resort complex
Developer Jerry Ward is planning a condominium complex in Ocean Shores that is similar to plans for his Port Angeles project.
While hammering out his Ocean Shores project, Ward says he has pledged to donate $150,000 to the interpretive center in the coastal city.
``Those are the greatest people, and they have the greatest program for children that you can imagine,'' Ward said Friday in a telephone interview.
``I love that interpretive center.''
He also promises a donation of $350,000 so the city can build a $350,000 indoor skate park.
Developer unveils resort plans for PA waterfront
(Port Angeles) -- The largest single project to grace Port Angeles will be the proposed Port Angeles Waterfront Resort, if the plans and dreams of Developer Jerry Ward can come true. At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Ward met with the media, City officials and other dignitaries, and outlined his plan to build a $120-million dollar, destination resort on the waterfront at the Rayonier Mill site.
The resort would feature the re-located aircraft carrier, USS Ranger, a 30-thousand square foot aquarium, a cruise ship terminal, a huge timeshare condominium resort, with state-of-the-art units, a 5-story, 750 unit covered parking garage, a large indoor waterpark and research center, plus a NOAA research station..
Above the Resort, on the bluff, will be the Shearwater, 8 luxury condominiums. Moving people between the resort and downtown Port Angeles will be a light railway, featuring the LevX magnetic system, on an elevated structure over the existing waterfront trail. In the resort itself, turn-of-the-century trolleys will move people around the grounds.
Jerry Ward feels that, if he builds it, tourists will come by the thousands and the millions, and Port Angeles would, indeed, be a Destination, as opposed to a passing gate to British Columbia.
It would also be a financial boon to the local economy, with 350 to 400 full-time jobs, and a total salary range of 11-to-13-million dollars.
The next stage of the project will be a meeting of the developers and Rayonier officials, on August 12th, to nail down an agreement on the property itself.
Two weeks later, Ward and his people plan to meet with all applicable State agencies, such as Ecology, DNR, Fish and Wildlife, et cetera, to begin mitigation proceedings and secure all the permits needed to begin construction. Ward's goal is to begin construction in the Spring of 2005. And if all goes as planned, the USS Ranger would move here a year later.
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