Minding Your Business

Reporter Tad Sooter keeps tabs on the West Sound economy, nonprofits and health care.
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Is it time to rename SKIA?

July 23rd, 2014 by Tad Sooter

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The Port of Bremerton needs to recruit manufacturers to the slow-growing South Kitsap Industrial Area.

But most companies outside the region have never heard of Kitsap County, let alone its southern extremities. Given the county’s lack of name recognition, port Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn believes it’s time to rebrand SKIA.

VicinityMap“Where is South Kitsap and what does that mean to you?” Strakeljahn said at a Tuesday night commission meeting. “It has no meaning outside our local area.”

His solution? Give the 3,500-acre industrial area a name that reflects the broader region. “Puget Sound Industrial Center” was one suggestion.

Strakeljahn said he and port CEO Jim Rothlin have informally discussed a potential name change with a number of area leaders, including representatives from Puget Sound Regional Council and Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent. The idea was well received.

Commissioners Larry Stokes and Roger Zabinski said they also agreed broadly with the proposal. Port staff will craft a name change resolution to bring back to the commission, and seek input from stakeholders.

SKIA, which includes Bremerton National AirportOlympic View Industrial Park and a mix of port and private property, was designated as a regional Manufacturing/Industrial Center in 2003. Bremerton later annexed much of the land. About 870 people were employed in the area as of 2010, according to a PSRC profile (embedded below).

The port plans to resume construction next summer on a connector road that will provide access from Highway 3 to undeveloped portions of SKIA, via Old Clifton Road.

Photo: Ben Johnson of Defiance Boats, works on a 25-foot sportfishing boat in the South Kitsap Industrial Area. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

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