EPHRATA, Wash.—Port of Ephrata commissioners voted Sept. 20 to end negotiations to sell 98 acres to Washington Tire Corp., which planned to build an off-the-road tire plant on the site.
The commissioners' unanimous vote came after WTC failed to provide documentation that would establish the legitimate incorporation of Washington Tire and the legal authority of Abraham Hengyucius to bind WTC as its president.
The Port said it requested this certification after discovering Hengyucius sign- ed all legal documents relating to the sale as Abraham Hengyucius, while his legal name is Hengyu Zhang.
The Port had granted WTC an extension of its initial deadline for this information to Sept. 1 at the request of WTC's legal counsel. As of Sept. 20, the Port said it hadn't received a response from WTC or its attorney.
Washington Tire is a successor company to OTR tire distributor American Tire Corp./Colorado Tire Corp., which was set up in Washington to facilitate the company's plan to build an OTR tire plant there. It missed two deadlines, Aug. 25 and Sept. 1, to provide the requested documents, according to Port Manager Mike Wren. The Port of Ephrata is a business park located on land adjacent to the Ephrata Airport.
The port asked Washington Tire for documentation that establishes the “legitimate incorporation of Washington Tire Corp., and especially the legal authority of 'Abraham Hengyucius' to bind Washington Tire Corp. as its president,” Wren said.
Hengyucius floated the idea of building a plant in Washington in 2007. His connection to the Port of Ephrata surfaced in October 2008 when American Tire Corp. took an option on a 98-acre plot of land at the port.
Throughout the three years since first proposing the plant, Hengyucius has estimated its cost at anywhere from $200 million to $1 billion.
The Port said it is “disappointed that this project did not come to fruition, but believes this vote produces a result that is in the best interest of our community.”
Another ATC predecessor company, American Seashores Ltd., recently lost an appeal in California of a 2008 summary judgment against it. The ruling affirms a lower court's decision that the firm owes a Canadian tire distributor more than $1.5 million in damages and costs.