ASPI Group breaks ground on new project

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ASPI Group President Andy Chen, Port of Moses Lake commissioners Mike Conley and Brian McGowan and Russell Construction President Norman Russell take part in ASPIÕs groundbreaking. Terry Brewer, of Grant County EDC, and Gary Mann, of Gary Mann Real Estate, are standing to the left. ASPI Group is building commerce park 3 at Patton and Doolittle drives in Moses Lake.

MOSES LAKE - The ASPI Group started working on its newest project, Commerce Park 3 in Moses Lake, at Doolittle Drive and Patton Drive, Wednesday.

The groundbreaking brought representatives from the company, Grant County Economic Development Council (EDC), Russell Construction, Inc., and the Port of Moses Lake.

The 50,000 square-foot concrete "tilt-up" building  is the fifth project Russell Construction has done for the Renton-based ASPI Group, which owns land near the Grant County International Airport.

The new building is also near manufacturing companies in Moses Lake. 

There are plans to have  24-foot interior ceilings, fire sprinklers, fiber optics, grade level and loading dock doors and rail door access, according to the ASPI Group.

It is expected the new building offers "a state of the art platform for subcontractors, material suppliers and sub-assembly manufacturers located at the ASPI Technology Park, including the SGL/BMW facility," according to the ASPI Group.

Companies can also be part of the Foreign Trade Zone to save money on customs tariffs.

"We value our relationship with the ASPI Group and look forward to future work in the Moses Lake area," stated Norman Russell, the company's founder and president.

Kim Foster, corporate council for the ASPI Group, explained how part of the company's mission statement was constructing high quality buildings. 

Foster read a congratulatory email from former Gov. Mike Lowry, whom he called an advisor and team member for the company.

Lowry wrote he was "very impressed" when the company built Commerce Park 2 for Genie Industries, a company providing family waged jobs for residents, Foster said.

"Even though the national economic conditions are challenging, ASPI is  committed to continuing its 20-year presence in Grant County with new private sector investment," stated ASPI Group President Andy Chen, in part. "We recognize the need to offer first-quality support facilities as a critical component in attracting and maintaining major global employers like BMW, Genie and Boeing in Moses Lake and Grant County."

Grant County EDC Executive Director Terry Brewer said it is a major statement when ASPI builds without tenants.

"You're making a statement, partially on speculation, that tenants will come," Brewer said. 

He likes that the building site is near rail.

Port of Moses Lake Commission President Kent Jones thanked the company and said they enjoyed working with them.

Jones also commented about the all of the infrastructure and how the company made a huge investment in Moses Lake.

Chen thanked the audience and said the company is looking forward to the next 20 years.

Foster, of ASPI Group, said they appreciated all of the assistance and support from the City of Moses Lake on the project.

"That allows us to move very, very quickly," Foster said. "The city's been progressive."

The city allowed Russell to move fast on the project.

Jon Smith, of Grant EDC, said the EDC receives calls all the time from businesses interested in the concrete tilt building.

People want existing space because it is quicker and easier, he explained.

Mike Brown, Russell Construction's senior project manager, the project's general contractor, said about 100 construction workers are hired for the project. 

About 90 percent of the workers are from Moses Lake and Spokane.

"Russell Construction maintains a local presence in the Grant County-Moses Lake area and strives to use local sub-contractors when we can to stimulate the local economy and job market," stated Michael O'Halloran, Russell's Moses Lake-based superintendent.

The company has plans to build another structure, Commerce Park 4, starting in spring 2012.


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