Port OKs plan to buy, lease Martin property

Diversis Capital will operate the archery business as Martin Sports Inc.

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WALLA WALLA – The Port of Walla Walla will move forward with the purchase of the Martin Archery property and a lease agreement for a new operator.

In a unanimous decision during a special meeting Monday the three Port commissioners reaffirmed their authorization to purchase the more than 4½-acre property, and also approved terms of a 10-year lease with private equity firm Diversis Capital LLC.

The California company will take over operations of Martin Archery under the name Martin Sports Inc., said Port Executive Director Jim Kuntz.

The changeover is expected to help revive a financially languishing Martin Archery and save the 20 remaining jobs at the recurve and compound bow manufacturer.

During Monday’s roughly hourlong meeting, Kuntz said commissioners mostly reviewed terms of the purchase and lease agreement.

The Port will put down $20,000 in earnest money. The remainder is expected to be paid at closing, which is anticipated for Oct. 22.

The lease with the new operator is expected to begin Oct. 23.

Kuntz said Diversis has indicated it will likely double the number of employees upon taking over the operation.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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