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Expansion Proposal From OR Seafoods
The founder and owner of Oregon Seafoods LLC, Mike Babcock, presented a proposal to the City of Coos Bay’s Urban Renewal Agency to construct a new facility for his business on the Hollering Place property in the Empire area of the city. Babock started Oregon Seafoods in early 2011 with the goal of providing a high quality, nutritious product from wild caught albacore tuna. Babcock has been able to market his products in over 800 grocery stores. The operation has outgrown its current facility at 723 South 2nd Street, and Babcock has explored several possible locations in the Coos Bay-Charleston area.
Mr. Babcock’s vision is to build a 15,000 square foot processing plant on a model of the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the new Face Rock Creamery where tourists and local citizens can come in and watch the processing and packaging of his products as well as have a café area to taste the products and a retail section where the products can be purchased. The proposal would use the whole bottom bench for the facility, an area of approximately two acres, and may possibly include the upper bench, an area of .84 acres. Babcock’s future plan is to rehabilitate the dock to accommodate delivery of fish products to the site.
The concept has the potential of making the Hollering Place a destination spot. The new facility would add to the improvements to South Empire Blvd and growth of the Boat Building Center, and potentially leading to a development take off in the Empire District. Babcock’s proposal to develop the Hollering Place site somewhat fits the intent of the Hollering Place Master Plan adopted in 2008, however, it is not directly on point. To proceed with the proposal would require amending the city’s zoning and comprehensive plan.
As the current Hollering Place Master Plan resulted from a community process, the Urban Renewal Agency is asking the public for their input on the proposed use of the Hollering Place as a factory / processing plant.
The Urban Renewal Agency is scheduled to take public comments on the proposed use during their meeting on July 2nd, held immediately following the city council meeting. The meeting is open to the public, held in the council chambers at City Hall, 500 Central Avenue, Coos Bay. For more information, call 541-269-8912 during business hours.