Economic Development Agency Funds Construction of Critical Infrastructure in Orick
The Yurok Economic Development Corporation (YEDC) recently secured a $6 million grant from the US Economic Development Agency to build a brand-new fuel mart, laundromat and tribal government offices within Yurok ancestral territory in Orick.
“I would like to thank US EDA for making this much-needed investment in our community,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “The state-of-the-art facility will be a great resource for local residents and Redwood National and State Parks visitors. The business will generate more than a dozen new jobs too.”
“These Economic Development funds for the Yurok Tribe will help provide the small town of Orick on the edge of Redwood National and State Parks a real boost,” added Rep. Jared Huffman. “This new facility will be a welcome gateway for travelers, whether they are using conventional vehicles or new electric models. This is a great match for the area and will help tourists orient themselves in Yurok Country and one of the most beautiful parks in the world.”
Located in the footprint of the aging Shoreline Market, the economic development project will involve the construction of a stunning two-story building. The one-of-a-kind, approximately 6,000-square-foot structure will resemble a customary Yurok home with traditional basket designs on the exterior walls, pitched roofing and a round door. A minimart will occupy the first floor of the partially solar-powered facility. The laundromat will also be on the ground level, but it will have a separate entryway. The second story will contain tribal offices and two conference rooms. The US Highway 101-adjancent business will offer eight unleaded and high-flow diesel fuel pumps as well as multiple electric vehicle charging stations. The conventional fuel dispensers and electric charging stations will be open 24/7.
The new facility was deliberately designed to serve as a gateway to welcome visitors to Orick. The Shoreline Market property is on the south side of Orick, in close proximity to one of the most picturesque stretches of the California coastline. It is also near Redwood National and State Parks’ Lady Bird Johnson Grove and the fabled Fern Canyon, which draws visitors from across the globe. Every year, approximately 1.5 million people spend time in the parks to enjoy the unspoiled beaches and hike through the tallest trees on the planet.
“The Shoreline Market project represents real economic progress for the Orick community and the Yurok Tribe,” said the Yurok Economic Development Corporation’s Executive Director Raymond Bacon. “This project is phase one in our long-term our plan to revitalize Orick.”
The construction of the new Shoreline Market is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2025. Since the start, the Yurok Tribal Council and YEDC have engaged the Orick community and will continue to do so as the project progresses. During the build, the current gas pump will remain open because there is only one fueling station in Orick.
In 2020, the Yurok Tribal Council allocated funds to the YEDC for the purchase of the nine-acre Shoreline Market property. Following the acquisition, YEDC took over the management of the business.
The town of Orick is roughly in the center of the Tribe’s ancestral territory on the coast. Orick is named after a traditional village called Owr-rekw. For millennia, prior to the arrival of European colonizers, Yurok people enjoyed a rich existence in the large village due to an extreme abundance of ocean and river resources, wild game and plant foods, all of which were carefully managed for maximum sustainability.
The revitalization of Orick will ensure that Yurok people continue to remain connected to this part of the Tribe’s ancestral territory. The YEDC is working hard to build up the economy within the coastal town and throughout the Tribe’s homeland.
The Yurok Development Corporation is the economic development branch of the Yurok Tribe. The YEDC owns and operates several businesses, including: Shoreline Market, Pem-mey Fuel Mart, Pek-tah Fuel Mart, Redwood Yurok Canoe Tours, Redwood Hotel Casino, Abalone Bar and Grill, Yurok Country Visitor Center, Klamath Jet Boat Tours, Yurok Alliance CDFI, Bluff Creek Resort, Redwood RV Park and Riverside RV Park.