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Judge approves sale of NewWood to Port of GH

MONTESANO — Grays Harbor Superior Court Judge Gordon Godfrey approved the $1.3 million sale of the NewWood composite company at the Satsop Business Park to the Port of Grays Harbor Monday morning.

The matter took just a few minutes of the court’s time, including the scrambling of a last-minute amendment to the deal that states if the Port is unable to secure financing to take the project over, then the Port’s own revenues would be used to buy the property in full.

“I don’t see blood on the floor, so you agree,” Godfrey told them.

Port attorney Art Blauvelt said that the amendment was forced to come together as all of the loan documents couldn’t be put in place by Friday afternoon as planned.

“The loan will come together,” Blauvelt said. “There’s no reason it shouldn’t. We just needed to do this on paper.”

Judge Godfrey congratulated all sides on a job well done.

“This is a really, really good work,” Godfrey said.

The deal includes all of the former NewWood’s equipment in the Port-owned building and the former NewWood’s patents. Operating in a 275,000-square-foot facility, the company turned wood waste and recycled plastic into a composite wood used for fencing, home siding, small buildings, bins, crates, lawn and garden edging, among many other things.

As many as 150 people worked there in 2010. The Port commissioners approved the sale on Nov. 6 with the understanding that the Port would serve as middleman to an affiliate company of Triventas, a Pittsburgh-based investment company with a private investment firm focusing on green building products. Now, that the sale has been approved, the next step is for Port Director Gary Nelson to sign loan documents with Craft3 calling for a 66-month loan agreement. Then, the company will work with Triventas to operate in the facility.

Triventas — through its company called NewWood International LLC — would have 90 days to do its due diligence and if it doesn’t like what it sees, the company could walk away without a tenant to run the turnkey operation. That would leave the Port with the option of either looking for someone else to run the facility using the Port-owned patents or scrap it all.

The Port of Grays Harbor is now the fourth owner of the NewWood facility in less than a decade — none of which has been able to successfully find a niche market and be successful. The sale puts the Port as the middle man, holding the risk if the company fails.

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