The Port of Douglas County and City of Rock Island are leading an effort to promote redevelopment of over 200 acres of Columbia Riverfront property, including a closed silicon smelter plant. With grant funding from the Community Economic Revitalization Board and Department of Ecology, the City and Port have prepared a redevelopment plan based on community engagement, economic analysis, and technical studies. An exciting redevelopment strategy has emerged out of the public planning process to redevelop the smelter property as a technology innovation district.
The two remaining industrial buildings will be renovated to provide space for information technology companies and educational classrooms. In recent years, the low cost of renewable hydroelectric power has attracted significant investment from technology companies for cloud computing and block chain servers. The City and Port are building partnerships with private technology firms and the Wenatchee Valley College to bring both jobs and workforce training opportunities to this site. To capitalize on the waterfront views and create an attractive destination, the redevelopment strategy also includes space for restaurants, breweries, music events, and a public park and trail along the river.
This redevelopment strategy aligns with the North- Central Region Community Economic Development Strategy and grassroots efforts of Our Valley, Our Future to support technology innovation in the Wenatchee Valley.