Several major companies have established distribution centers in Sumner, drawn by industrial parks and available land on the north side of town.

Tarragon, a Seattle real estate development company, owns Valley South Corporate Park. One of the firm’s partners purchased land on the north end of Sumner adjacent to State Route 167 about 10 years ago.

In 1997 construction began on five buildings. Tarragon Managing Partner Joe Blattner says except for the space occupied by Pacific Distribution, all the construction was done on a speculative basis. All space was leased within 30 days of completion. Leases run from five to 15 years, he adds.

Two buildings are under construction. One will have 350,000 square feet, the other 50,000. Tarragon is comfortable putting up buildings before finding possible renters. “We’ve already received a lot of interest,” Blattner says. Next year Tarragon starts work on two more buildings, bringing Valley South close to the 1 million square feet mark.

What brings companies to Valley South? Price, for one. “We’ve been able to provide reasonable prices,” Blattner says. As a large industrial park designed by one company, it is able to contain costs and pass the savings on to companies that lease space.

Buildings are designed so that companies will be able to expand within the park as business picks up. “We show them how we can accommodate their growth,” Blattner says. Companies are interested in being able to stay in the same area as they grow, he says, rather than having to move to a different park in a different city.

A road project expanded the road leading to Valley South to five lanes. Union Pacific railroad tracks run just west of the park. “We haven’t brought any rail in because no one has requested it, but we can if someone wants it,” Blattner remarks.

Last year Tarragon sold 94 acres to Costco. The retail chain has opened a cold storage facility, with a dry storage warehouse under construction.

Developer Ted Knapp plans an industrial park that would be the largest of its kind in Sumner. Leonard Bauer, community development director, says the park will be over 1 million square feet.

The 24th Street Industrial Park will open this September. It will have six buildings with 20,000 square feet each. Project Manager Terry Senn says this facility will cater to smaller companies, with space available in increments of 2,000 square feet.