Overstock, Port reach lease termination agreement

Port of Grays Harbor commissioners Tuesday approved a lease-termination settlement with Overstock.com, after the online retail company announced earlier this year it would no longer use the FlexTech building at the Satsop Business Park for a call center.

Business park manager Alissa Shay said Overstock wished to terminate its lease on the FlexTech building March 31, about a year and a half before the end of the agreement. The FlexTech building is located at 100 Technology Way in Elma.

The terms, said Shay, included Overstock paying the Port $608,583.78 by the end of the month. Overstock would remove all its property from the building by March 31, except anything the Port had agreed could stay, and that the Port would be responsible for electric utilities beginning April 1.

The lease would have ended Dec. 31 of 2022 as originally signed, with an option for Overstock to extend.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” said Port Commissioner Tom Quigg, but he acknowledged the Port could lease the building again beginning April 1. Just last week, Grays Harbor County Superior Court Judge David Edwards said the county was entering an agreement with the Port to use the building for jury trials starting, hopefully, in early May.

In December 2016, Port commissioners approved the initial lease for a portion of the building with Overstock for its call center. The call center opened in May 2017, with much fanfare, including a presentation by Gov. Jay Inslee who attended the grand opening. In August 2017, the company amended its lease with the Port to take up all 43,000 square feet of the building.

Overstock indicated the change was due to COVID-19 and a shift to work-from-home call center employees. At one point, the call center employed about 150 people, and the company in January said it would “continue to employ and seek out talented individuals to join our team and work from home” in the region.