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The Chelan Douglas Port Authority has secured a nearly $5 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to create a "trades district" in the Pangborn Airport Business Park.

The 8-acre site will house 25 buildings that were abandoned by a failed cryptocurrency company, Giga Watt. The Port has hired Design West Architects to develop a plan to repurpose these buildings and create affordable spaces for small businesses, including metal and woodworking shops, specialty trade spaces, production shops, and limited retail spaces.

Phase 1 of the project will involve building 12 self-contained structures ranging from 1,590 to 2,304 square feet. The Port intends to support underserved, Latino-owned, or young startup businesses through an incubator program that could benefit from the new spaces.

To access the federal grant, the Port has signed a covenant on the property to guarantee the EDA that the project will not deviate from its intended purpose. Construction is expected to begin in September, and completion is scheduled for next summer.

The Port hopes this project will provide reasonably priced production spaces for start-ups and small businesses that need to expand. By doing so, it may help stimulate local economic growth and development.

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