Renewed activity returns to the former Walla Walla Gardeners Association building at 205 N. 11th Ave. across from Stubblefield Co.
For decades, the 51,000-square-foot building housed this local farming operation, but as of May, it’s set to become California-based Valencia Pipe Co’s second extrusion plant.
VPC manufactures ABS pipe for drainage, waste and venting applications used in plumbing and irrigation for home builders and consumers and will begin the process of creating extrusion lines. The Walla Walla site was selected for its proximity to customers in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
Extrusion is a manufacturing process in which plastic or metal materials are melted and formed into pipes or tubes.
VPC also manufactures stainless steel pipe, fittings and connectors for gas appliances and sells to irrigation and plumbing retailers and wholesalers.
CEO Andrew Dervin said in an email that there is “no better time than the present to ramp up manufacturing capacity as homebuilders try to catch up with new demand for homes.”
VPC will now begin the process of cleaning and remodeling the building to format it for the creation of their piping products.
Dennis Gisi, a John L. Scott Real Estate agent – covering the Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater area – was involved in the sale of the building to Valencia Pipe.
He said part of the reason VPC chose Walla Walla was the location and access to rail lines that made it easy to ship their products.
“This location suited their type of service,” Gisi said. “It connects them to their customers in the Pacific Northwest, reduces their transportation costs and brings them closer to expanding into Canada.”
Gisi commented on how impressed he was with how the business community and government officials came together to make purchasing the building simple and inviting VPC to choose Walla Walla as the location for expansion.
“We have received positive support from the Port of Walla Walla and other government agencies,” Gisi said. “Everyone was on board to make this happen.”
In fact, it was one of the easiest projects to approve he had ever worked on in his more than 20 years selling real estate, he said. And it was one of the smoothest transactions he had seen.
The property had been listed since May 2020 and contacted VPC in January this year to explore the opportunity to purchase the property.
VPC hopes to manufacture in the next 60 to 90 days according to Gisi, and the expansion in Walla Walla will generate 25 to 50 new jobs.