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PORTLAND, OR-A New York-based national real estate company has acquired a 25.82-acre parcel on Tomahawk Island in the Columbia River, most of which it wants to restore and preserve as natural habitat in exchange for using a small portion near the main roadway for industrial uses.

Tomahawk Island is located near the airport, and is connected to the mainland by a causeway. The former sand & gravel mine, which sits between two marinas, is Brookhill’s first acquisition in Oregon. It was purchased from Hillman Properties, a multi-billion-dollar industrial and real estate firm based in Pittsburgh. The acquisition price was not immediately available, and is not being released by Brookhill.

The portion of Brookhill’s property directly accessible to Tomahawk Island Drive will be used for permitted commercial/industrial purposes, similar to the many boating related activities in the vicinity. Brookhill vice president Barry Hersh could not be specific about the size of the development, other than to say it would be marine-related, “and probably wouldn’t be developed on a speculative basis.”

Brookhill has submitted applications to Portland and the state of Oregon to restore the rest of the site by installing an impermeable clay liner and filling it with river sediments. When the project is completed, plans call for the bulk of the property to be made an improved habitat and permanently reserved as an open space and habitat.

Brookhill had a two-year option to acquire the property and exercised the option a year early. “We view this as another opportunity to apply our real estate expertise by adding value to an underutilized property,” says Ronald Bruder, CEO of Brookhill, in a prepared statement. “The restoration of this property with material from local rivers makes good environmental sense for the site, and provides a valuable resource for the region.”

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