Active Water Sports, the marine dealer that was called the “Best Boat and Watersports Store in the Pacific Northwest” by That Oregon Life last year, has been given the go-ahead to begin construction on its brand new, 29,000 square foot watercraft sales and storage facility on the corner of Hazel Dell Way and Southeast First Avenue in the Pioneer Industrial Park.
The project represents a major expansion for the company, which has stores in Oregon City and Beaverton, as well as a ski school at Koppert Lake in Tacoma. The new facility is estimated to hold over 150 boats, with an additional 6,000 square feet of covered space outside. The 4-acre lot is one of only a few in the industrial park that carries the unique zoning of C-M, which permits both industrial/manufacturing uses and commercial activity.
AWS owner Warren Freece started the business over 35 years ago selling water skis out of the back of his car. He later moved up to selling water sports equipment and service boats from a corner of his dad’s NAPA Auto Parts store. Despite these humble beginnings, AWS is now the largest wakeboard and waterski shop in the Pacific Northwest and has long been a leader in the industry.
At Monday’s Planning Commission Meeting, Freece said he had been looking all over the Portland metro area for a location to expand his business and better serve his customers, but he’s glad to have found a home in Canby, admitting that the decision was personal for him.
The project’s site design review application was unanimously approved by the Canby Planning Commission. The new facility is expected to open in the fall of 2019.