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PORTLAND-The Port of Portland Commission this week will decide whether to purchase a 750-acre tract of land surrounding a defunct aluminum smelter between the City of Troutdale and the Columbia River. The plant and the land, of which 350 acres is developable, is owned by Alcoa.If approved, the purchase would be funded with a 25-year, 5.1% loan from an Oregon Economic and Community Development Department fund created with state lottery revenue. The transaction would not close until 2006 or 2007, when it is expected Alcoa will have demolished the smelter and remediated the land.The first phase of construction would most likely use approximately 100 acres for an industrial park. The second phase could be an expanded industrial park or an intermodal rail yard. The rail yard plan will have to undergo extensive study and analysis, and will be contingent on market conditions, according to the port. A primary factor in the rail yard idea is whether or not Union Pacific is ultimately interested in the idea.Other issues with the land’s development include Federal Aviation Administration requirements (the site borders the Troutdale Airport), wetlands mitigation requirements, traffic congestion, numerous sets of power that cut across the site and a large section of the property lying in the Columbia River Flood Plain. As such, full build-out of the site could take more than 10 years, according to the port.

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