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Thunder Island buys WaNaPa property from Port of Cascade Locks

The Port of Cascade Locks has sold a piece of downtown property to Thunder Island Brewing Co., where the brewery plans to move.

On Thursday, Thunder Island agreed to buy the vacant lot — located on WaNaPa Street next to Jumpin’ Jax Java — for $143,555. An extra payment of about $22,000 came via an improvement credit from the port.

The sale went through after months of discussion and negotiation between the parties.

Thunder Island will pay the port in monthly installments starting in December, Port General Manager Paul Koch explained.

"Buyer will provide seller with a site development plan and an updated business plan no later than Jan. 19, 2016," the agreement states.

On Nov. 10, the city planning commission approved a two-year conditional use permit for Thunder Island’s current location in the port’s Marine Park. That gives Thunder Island a temporary extension to work with the city on design plans and get permits before starting construction on a new 7,500-square-foot building on WaNaPa — the town’s main business corridor.

“They have to develop a plan and get it to the city, then once that’s done … break ground,” Koch said. He expects the business could be ready to start construction by next summer.

Thunder Island has rented space in the port’s riverside Marine Park since 2013.

Since then, they’ve grown popular enough to warrant a larger location.

The new facility would anchor the west end of Cascade Locks’ business core, and would also sport Columbia River views.

As for the original “incubator” location on Portage Road, which Thunder Island will soon vacate, a port history committee is weighing options.

One path, Koch explained, is for the Cascade Locks Historical Museum and the Oregon Pony engine to occupy Thunder Island’s old spot. The committee is also considering adding a visitor center, boosting Marine Park’s tourism draw.

In February, members will present their findings to the port commission.

“It’s pretty exciting times for Cascade Locks,” Koch said of recent business developments.



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