CRESTON, Wash. — A former eyesore in Creston, Wash., has been converted into a state-of-the-art fertilizer distribution facility.
The McGregor Co. invested more than $2 million in rehabilitating the building, formerly a biodiesel production plant that had been abandoned and fallen into disrepair.
Alex McGregor, president of the company, said the goal during the four-year process was to turn the facility into something constructive that could serve as a retail store and distribution center for the area.
“We had the stubborn belief that if you all pull together, you can create something of lasting value even in a situation where the place looks hopeless,” McGregor said. “It’s part of our philosophy of putting down roots in communities for the long haul.”
“Forty-two months ago, this property was not in compliance with anybody, including God,” said Jim Lemon, who oversees the company’s safety and regulatory division. “It was a pit.”
The building is now in compliance with all state and federal agencies that regulate fertilizer distribution and handling.
The company will provide fertilizers like anhydrous ammonia, liquid phosphate and sulfur and some crop protectants.
“Fertilizer supplies can be tight at times,” McGregor said. “It’s important to be able to get timely supplies of product and to be able to buy it at the best times and provide your growers the best price.”
There was previously no McGregor site in Creston. It’s the first rail center for the company in the Big Bend area, McGregor said. The region includes Adams, Douglas, Franklin and Lincoln counties.
Ted Hopkins, a rancher in Lincoln, Wash., and a former Lincoln County commissioner, said the center would provide growers a service.
“It’s a type of fertilizer ... that they really use a lot,” Hopkins said.
The initial facility was built by the county Public Development Authority, but after the biodiesel company shut down, the state put it up for auction. The McGregor Co. was the only bidder.
“I really wanted McGregor to get it because I knew they were the type of company that would turn it into the showpiece it is now,” Hopkins said.