OLYMPIA, WA-Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers recently submitted a“special use permit” to Lewis County officials in efforts tocontinue to make the state of Washington home to the company’sNorthwest operations. For more than two years, Ritchie Bros. hassearched from the Washington-Oregon border up in to Bellingham, WAto find a suitable site that met its relocation criteria.

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This search also included the evaluation of expansionopportunities at its current location in Maytown, WA--11 milessouth of Olympia--however according to a company statement; therewere no achievable or viable options on that front. In doing thissearch, the company has identified a proposed relocation site inLewis County, which meets its criteria. This site is situated justsouth of Napavine on the west side of Interstate 5, which isaccessible via Exit 68.

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Ritchie Bros. has been holding unreserved public auctions in thestate of Washington for more than 38 years. Moving the company’sNorthwestern operations to Lewis County would “signify thecontinuing growth of a well-established relationship between thestate and Ritchie Bros. and would also serve to continue with thecompany’s long-standing customer relationships in the region,”according to a prepared statement.

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“We really hope that we can continue to call the state ofWashington our home for many years to come,” explains Scott Lennon,Ritchie Bros. real estate manager. “Our hope is to hold agroundbreaking ceremony at the new property by the end of this yearand hold a grand opening auction—inviting the community and our newneighbors—by the end of 2011.” The company could not be reached forfurther comment regarding the relocation.

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According to a prepared statement, one of the more outstandingfeatures of the Lewis County property plans proposed by RitchieBros. is the design of a storm water system that meets, andexceeds, county and state requirements for stormwater control.Robert Balmelli, president of Lewis County-based RB Engineering,will be leading the proposed water system project at the potentialproperty. “We will be using a higher standard of storm water designthan the county requires so that there is no damage to thedownstream off-site drainage ways or streams,” says Balmelli.“Additionally, we will be installing a state-approved water systemon-site that uses a year-round water supply of approximately 750gallons per day.” According to Balmelli, the average householdconsumes about 400 gallons of water per day, “so the amount thatwould be consumed by the Ritchie Bros. site is very low.”

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Other features of the Ritchie Bros. proposal include:Approximately 40% of the property will be dedicated to wetland; theentrance to the site is planned within less than 500 feet from theI-5 exit; and a large part of the property will be dedicated foron-site event parking.

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Ritchie Bros. conducted its very first auction in the state ofWashington in Seattle in 1972, and its first-ever unreservedauction in Olympia in 1979. Ritchie Bros. conducts, on average,four auctions a year at its Olympia auction site.

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Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is considered oneof the largest industrial auctioneers, selling more equipment toon-site and online bidders than any other company in the world. Thecompany has more than 110 locations in more than 25 countries,including 41 auction sites worldwide.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.