Developer plans business park for Riverfront property in Carnation

City owns the property and has been looking for a developer on the land since June.

A real estate group has offered to purchase and develop a vacant city-owned property in Carnation into a commercial business park, after the city put out a call for buyers several months ago.

The Remlinger Group, a Kirkland-based real estate company, made a bid to purchase the Schefer Riverfront Property for $2.4 million. The group plans to convert the space into a business park valued at $25 million.

Last week, the city council gave unanimous approval for the city manager to begin negations with Remlinger over a possible development agreement.

That approval comes after the city announced in June that it was seeking a buyer to purchase the land under the condition they developed it into a business park. The city said proposals would be submitted until September with a selection process to follow.

The 7-acre parcel, adjacent to Tolt McDonald Park, holds one of Carnation’s two dog parks. But city officials are hopeful the revitalized space will provide additional tax revenue, create a job base for the city and attract more patrons to downtown businesses.

The city purchased the property for $500,000 back in 1999, and it was appraised at $2 million a year ago, according to a presentation given to the city council.

The Remlinger proposal calls for 110,000 square feet of buildings that would generate an estimated $50,000 to $100,000 in tax revenue and bring in 190 to 240 jobs, according to city documents.

“We would like to see jobs stay in Carnation,” Drake Remlinger, owner of the Remlinger Group, said during a presentation to the council.

Remlinger said the project is pushing to maximize the space for revenue and job creation, as it is one of the last spaces left in Carnation zoned for manufacturing and light industrial uses. Remlinger also noted the development would be a first of its nature for the city.

The plan calls for the construction of four steel industrial buildings and one office building, the biggest of which would be 40,000 square feet. Those buildings would have multi-tented suites, which Remlinger said would be variable to suit multiple kinds of businesses.

The plan suggests one of the buildings could be the new location of the Carnation Post Office, opening up the current post office property along McKinley Avenue to other developments.

The project is estimated to finish two years after the purchase is finalized, according to Remlinger.

Besides Remlinger, the city received offers from one other party, Nelson Family Treehouse, which withdrew its proposal on Dec. 1.

Ricardo Noguera, an economic development consultant working with the city on the project, previously said the goal of the development includes creating an image change for the city and attracting more residents to downtown businesses, specifically in the afternoon.

During the day, residents leave Carnation, Noguera said, leaving no customer base for downtown businesses.

“By attracting businesses to this site, that is going to employ folks to patronize businesses along Tolt Avenue,” Noguera said. “When folks think of Carnation, not only will they think of Carnation Farms and different key businesses, but this site will hopefully support future business that will draw folks from the outside to Carnation.”