Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has closed on the purchase of a new 200-acre auction site in Napavine, WA. In Lewis County, the new auction site is about 22 miles south of Olympia and 70 miles north of Portland, OR. The company said the new facility will replace the company's current 37-acre auction site in Olympia, WA. Construction of the new auction facility, which will include a refurbishment facility and a larger equipment yard, will start in May. Completion is targeted for the summer of 2012.
"Closing on our new Napavine property in Lewis County is good news for Ritchie Bros. and good news for our customers," said Rob Giroux, divisional manager for Ritchie Bros. "Over the coming year we look forward to the construction of a new auction facility and larger equipment yard that will provide our customers in the region with a more accessible, comfortable and convenient space to buy and sell their equipment."
Ritchie Bros. held its first unreserved public auction in the state of Washington in 1972, and its first unreserved auction at its current Olympia auction site in November 1991. Since then, the company has conducted 84 auctions in the Olympia area -- about four auctions per year.
Approximately 100-plus acres of land at the new Napavine site will be improved to house auction facilities and an equipment display area, the company said. Eighty-plus acres will be developed as open green space with large berms and landscape, buffers and storm water ponds. Ritchie Bros. plans to build a 33,000-square-foot-plus auction building with seating capacity for 750 people. The auction facility will feature a second auction theater with a virtual ramp and seating capacity for 300 people. In the virtual ramp theater, photos of equipment can be projected onto a large screen in front of a seated bidding crowd.
The new Napavine facility will also include 10 Timed Auction Lot (TAL) kiosks for customers to bid on smaller consumer items, attachments and assets. The service allows customers to place bids a few days before and during the live auction, either online at rbauction.com, using on-site internet kiosks, mobile devices, or by proxy. Free wireless internet for customers will be available to support TAL and online bidding at the site.
The new site will feature a 16,000-square-foot refurbishment facility, complete with an equipment wash area and painting and blasting booths and a 2,800-square-foot check-in building. Other amenities include an on-site catering facility offering food services and a 10-acre customer parking lot.
Ritchie Bros. will continue conducting unreserved auctions at its Olympia auction site until the new auction site in Napavine is complete. The next auction to be held in Olympia is scheduled for June 16, 2011.The company has started to explore different options for disposition and/or redevelopment of the current Olympia property.
Lewis County dignitaries, friends and associates will join Ritchie Bros. management for an official ground breaking ceremony at the Napavine site on Thursday, May 12.