Port of Bremerton Close to Signing Major Tenant for Empty Building

By Rachel Pritchett
BREMERTON NATIONAL AIRPORT — It appears the Port of Bremerton has finally found a major anchor tenant for its new 25,500-square-foot building, which has been standing empty for a year and a half.

Commissioners meeting Tuesday evening are expected to approve the lease with the company.

Final lease negotiations were still under way Monday, and a draft news release from the company was still in the approval process. For those reasons, port leaders declined to officially name the tenant.

This is known:

The tenant is a national Navy contract that already has done work in Kitsap County. If port commissioners approve the lease, the company will occupy about a third of the building at Olympic View Industrial Park, across Highway 3 from Bremerton National Airport.

About 3,000 square feet will be for office space and about 6,000 square feet will be for warehousing, according to Tim Thomson, the port’s director for real-estate and industrial park development.

The lease term could be up to eight years.

Tenant uses, besides office space and warehouse, could include research and development, assembly, welding, painting and metal fabrication, according to port papers.

If the deal goes through — and there is little reason to expect that it would not — the port would begin immediate work on tenant improvements to the building’s interior. The cost of those improvements to what now is an interior shell is not yet known, according to Thomson.

The tenant, expected to officially be named within days, could move in before the end of the year.

Port leaders have taken a lot of heat from the public for constructing a major building that stood empty for a long time. But Commissioner Bill Mahan said it’s not unusual in commercial real-estate circles to have a major space require time to fill, especially when the economy tanks right when the building is coming online.

Mahan said of Tuesday night’s vote among the three commissioners to approve the lease, “I’m voting yes, and I would be willing to predict that they will vote yes, too.”

Thomson is being credited with attracting the major tenant, and his job title recently was changed to reflect the port’s strong wish to lease the building.

He was glad to finally have a tenant so close to signing. He said he’s been working with the company with a name very familiar to many here for months.

“It’s great for the port. It’s good for the community,” Thomson said. But “it’s not leasing the whole building. I still got a lot of work to do.”

Port Chief Executive Officer Cary Bozeman said that the port may be able to officially announce the tenant Tuesday.

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