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PORTLAND-The Port of Portland board of commissioners will vote this week on a lease and development agreement with Toyota Motor Sales USA, which has kept an auto processing operation at the port since the 1970′s.

Toyota currently leases around 104 acres; 65 acres down by the river for parking cars and another 40 acres about a mile up a hill behind Terminal 4 that holds aging metal buildings used for processing the cars before shipment to both regional and national dealerships. The Tokyo-based car manufacturer’s rent payments total about $1 million annually under the terms of its current 20-year lease.

Under the proposed agreement, Toyota would consolidate its operations onto 82 acres all down by the river at Terminal 4 and spend $30 million developing six new buildings totaling 97,600 sf. Toyota would lease the site for at least 15 years at a base rate of $1.4 million that would be adjusted each year according to CPI-U. The Port, for its part, would invest $10 million in environmental improvements to the property.

The agreement has changed somewhat since negotiations began last year. When GlobeSt.com first reported on the negotiations last October, the deal was for 95 acres at Terminal 4, the Port was going to develop the buildings, Toyota was going to do the environmental improvements and Toyota’s rent payments were going to be closer to $3 million annually.

At that time, the Port said there are two main reasons for the new lease and new buildings: one, it will significantly reduce the amount of mileage that has to be put on each car before being distributed and, two, the existing facilities are now 26 years old and the new buildings will be much more efficient.

The proposed new structures will include a 75,000-sf building for adding post-production options to vehicles, a 21,378-sf body shop, a 6,000-sf quality assurance building, a 2,500-sf car wash, a fueling station and a guard house.

On the environmental side, Toyota’s new facility would include a system that directs stormwater runoff to either a set of bioswale culverts that naturally filter the water, or to a mechanical system that separates oil and solids from stormwater before it is released into the river. Other improvements would include 1,700 linear feet of restored riverbank for improved wildlife habitat, and directional yard lighting that will use one-third the energy of the current system, produce twice the output, and greatly reduce reflection into windows of nearby homes.

Port commissioners will vote on the proposal Oct. 9.

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