Port of Kennewick
The Port of Kennewick’s focus is on revitalizing the community’s limited waterfront; providing infrastructure to expand employment; and improving, then selling or leasing land to transform neighborhoods.
This year, 2015, marks the Port of Kennewick’s 100th anniversary. When the port was formed those many years ago, it was truly 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.
Creating a Regional Town Center
In Kennewick, the 103-acre former Vista Field airport land was rezoned to commercial regional; and a citizen committee chose Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ)—an internationally acclaimed, urban design firm—to prepare a community-driven redevelopment plan for transforming that site into a regional town center.
A pattern-language and charrette process was used; with nearly three-hundred people attending meetings and providing comments in an inclusive, citizen-driven endeavor. The community identified small-scale city blocks with open spaces; transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods; with a mix of locally unique shops, restaurants, and work spaces—as critical elements.
Connectivity with existing public facilities and high-traffic intersections; and stakeholder participation were deemed essential to realizing that site’s full potential—which could approach half-a-billion dollars of economic vitality at build-out. Also, DPZ strongly recommended that Vista Field receive a “Pink Zone” designation where red tape is reduced to encourage investment by individuals and smaller developers—with City of Kennewick staff already working toward that end.
DPZ will refine the community’s input, and prepare and present a draft plan for additional public comment; during 2015 that plan will be refined as necessary and evaluated regarding cost, feasibility, and community support.
The Port, which owns Clover Island in Kennewick, has made significant improvements to create a destination waterfront. Now, several island parcels are available for lease and private development. This year, the port will install additional artwork, and will utilize a state grant to construct a public restroom and improve the boat ramps and parking. And, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers we’ll determine project requirements for restoring the island’s remaining shoreline.
Also in Kennewick, the Port and City of Kennewick are working together to create an urban wine and artisan village at the historic Columbia Gardens waterfront. The port is removing tired, worn structures and will construct three winery buildings. The city will extend the riverside trail, add landscaping, and construct a water-treatment system to accommodate boutique wine production. The first phase of the Columbia Gardens Wine & Artisan Village, which includes the three wine buildings, parking lot, landscaping, shoreline trail, and an art installation, should be completed the end of 2015. The port will lease those first buildings as a catalyst for initial development and may seek to sell or lease additional Columbia Drive parcels for private sector investment, including: Columbia Gardens, 3.5 remaining acres; The Willows, 6.69 acres; and Cable Greens, 3.23 acres.
The port is also partnering with City of Richland, looking at parking lot options to relieve residential street congestion and increase access to the Friends of Badger Mountain’s newly expanded trail system. And, port and city staff are working to annex 92-acres of port-owned land into the City of West Richland, and preparing that site for future industrial and commercial development to serve the growing needs of Washington’s wine industry.
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.