Port of Kennewick
When the port was formed back in 1915, it was the first port in eastern Washington and only the fifth port district in the entire state. And Port of Kennewick became a game changer for the local community. That citizen vote created an economic development agency focused on protecting and enabling commerce. Over the years, Port of Kennewick established a proven history of promoting industry, fostering jobs, building infrastructure, and making investments to address evolving community needs.
The port also owns a variety of land and buildings promoted for sale or lease; and is undertaking several large community-redevelopment projects that will create business opportunities to benefit the entire Port of Kennewick District—which includes all of Kennewick, part of Richland, all of West Richland, a portion of Benton City, and the eastern 1/3 of Benton County including Plymouth, Hover, and Finley.
Port of Kennewick has developed strong partnerships to transform neighborhoods and bring renewed economic vibrancy to challenged areas throughout our district. We’ve made waterfront investments, we’ve fostered new industries, we’ve championed art as a tool for economic development, and we’ve worked to engage stakeholders and our citizenry in transparent urban planning. Together, the port and its partners are completing significant projects for our region.
Creating a Regional Town Center
At Vista Field, the port is following a community-driven master plan to create a vibrant, pedestrian-focused town-center that features mixed-use neighborhoods and urban lifestyle amenities.
With support from City of Kennewick and Benton County, the port completed the first phase of infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, landscaping, a linear park, water features, and a plaza. The Port is now working to market available lots in the central 20 acres for commercial, retail and residential development opportunities. The port will use the proceeds from those land sales to help fund future phases of infrastructure until the entire site plan is complete. The Port is are also examining the opportunity to remodel former hangar buildings into commercial business space to continue the momentum at Vista Field.
At full build-out of the 103 acres, Vista Field is expected to generate more than $500 million in private-sector investment with more than 1,000 residential units and 740,000 square feet of commercial space. The Port and its partners received the Governor’s Smart Partnerships Award for the collaborative effort to transform the former airport into a vibrant, regional town center. The Port also received the Washington Public Ports Association’s Community Outreach Award for efforts to engage the community in transparent urban planning.
In east Kennewick, the Port partnered with City of Kennewick, Benton County, and the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund Advisory Committee to transform Kennewick’s historic waterfront into a destination gathering place known as Columbia Gardens Wine & Artisan Village. The Port and its partners received the Governor’s Smart Partnerships Award for the collaborative effort to revitalize Kennewick’s Historic Waterfront District.
Bartholomew Winery and Monarcha/Palencia Wine Company, the first production wineries and tasting rooms to open within the wine village, began operating in early 2018. The newest wineries, Cave B Estate and Gordon Estate Wineries opened tasting rooms in spring 2020. The Port is now offering six, shovel-ready parcels for private-sector investment for development which complements that waterfront complex.
Since that time, the port built a Food Truck Plaza which is home to six food trucks offering a variety of cuisine including BBQ, Asian fusion, authentic Mexican, creole and soul food, bubble tea, snack foods, and charcuterie plates and desserts.
Columbia Gardens also features a paved pathway alongside a scenic nature pond; and a number of public artworks: “Aspirations” at the east end of the wine village, “Rolling Mass” an artistic transit shelter, and the Mid-Columbia Heritage Mural which honors the Latino community’s many contributions to both the wine industry and the cultural fabric of the Tri-Cities region. The Port of Kennewick was honored with the Governor’s Arts & Heritage Award for its many contributions to the artistic and cultural diversity of Washington State.
Creating a Destination Waterfront
The Port of Kennewick’s Clover Island is a mixed-use commercial and recreational destination located in Kennewick’s Historic Waterfront District. The Port along with city, county, state and federal partners have worked to add public amenities, improve the shoreline and create physical and visual access from the island to the Columbia River.
The island now features an entrance gateway, a recreational pathway (Clover Island Riverwalk), a public plaza, scenic viewpoints, and am extensive collection of public artwork. More shoreline projects and island enhancements are planned in the coming years.
Clover Island is also home to the Clover Island Lighthouse. Constructed in May 2010, the Lighthouse is a four-section, pre-cast concrete structure standing 62 feet tall. The fully functional lighthouse is a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Private Aid to Navigation (PATON). The lighthouse tower houses a white beacon that flashes every four seconds.
The Lighthouse Plaza makes a great place for viewing sunsets, enjoying wildlife, holding portrait sessions, weddings and special events.
Today, Clover Island spans 16 acres. The island originally encompassed 162 acres, and the scenic pond behind the adjacent levee was the former Columbia River shoreline before the McNary Dam and levee system was built, which covered most of the island, impounded the original shoreline and formed that nature pond.
Supporting Regional Development & Diversification
In West Richland, the port sold land to Benton County Fire District #4 to build a new fire station. With 20,000 more residents anticipated within the next 20 years, the sale of that property was critical to help the fire district reduce response times and ensure continued public safety. The Port also sold 93 acres to City of West Richland to accommodate a new police station and create opportunities for additional development.
The Port is investing in the City of Richland’s project to upgrade the Island View neighborhood by making road, utility, pedestrian and recreational-access improvements to Columbia Park Trail.
And on Clover Island, the Port along with grant funding from City of Kennewick, Benton County and Washington State, is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore the north shoreline and extend the island’s Riverwalk.
As always, Port of Kennewick will continue to serve as a catalyst for economic development throughout our 485-square-mile district—and create partnerships and work plans to meet evolving community needs.
For information about building, leasing, land sales, port projects, or bringing your business to the Port of Kennewick district please contact Amber Hanchette, director of real estate and operations at 509-586-1186 or go to portofkennewick.org.