"Coming Soon. Valley Freightliner" says the sign just off the newly redesigned Maytown exit. As we welcome in the New Year, we will also be welcoming a new truck dealership to Thurston County.
Who is Valley Freightliner?
Valley Freightliner, Inc. (VFI) is a full-service Freightliner brand dealer. Freightliner Trucks, headquartered in Portland Oregon, is the largest manufacturer of medium and heavy duty trucks in North America.
VFI provides authorized sales, service and parts for Freightliner, as well as parts and service for other brands. In addition to trucks, VFI services motor homes, school and transit buses, and package delivery vans such as UPS or Federal Express.
Why Thurston County?
VFI's franchise covers Canada to the Lewis/Cowlitz county line, east to the Cascades and west to the Pacific Ocean.
"During the last few years Valley Freightliner has considered expansion in the Thurston/Lewis county area," said VFI General Manager Alex Bernasconi. "We see strong growth opportunities in the communities between Olympia and Portland and this new location makes for an exciting expansion point."
VFI already has sites in Pacific and Mount Vernon. The south Thurston County location provides a convenient and efficient location for maintenance or service prior to hitting the I-5 congestion spanning from Olympia to Marysville.
For the county, VFI's presence creates a draw for manufacturers and distributors whose success is closely tied to an efficient transportation system. A recently released Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council report revealed half of the most impactful economic clusters were in the manufacturing sector. All clusters showed transportation as a critical supply chain component.
Why this Site?
Initially VFI was searching for land when broker Don Moody of CBRE brought this high visibility site to their attention. Previously owned by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, VFI purchased a 34 acre parcel along with the existing high bay structures.
"It presented a great location on I-5 with an existing infrastructure that aligns with our needs," said Bernasconi. The location has good access and visibility, along with ample parking. It also has an existing facility that fits the truck dealership model.
Some minor remodeling and basic updates will be done to optimize its use. "We're hoping to get permit approval from the county in the next couple weeks," shared Bernasconi.
Valley Freightliner is currently hiring about 20 people for positions ranging from managers to sales people to mechanics. Within 3-5 years they expect to employ between 50-75 employees to support their seven day a week operation.
As Valley Freightliner evaluated the property, the EDC worked with the county to be sure zoning was appropriate for their desired use. "We both agreed using the property to create jobs and build a solid tax base maximizes the site's potentional," said EDC Deputy Director Ren�e Sunde.