The Port has supported or teamed with its City and County partners on many projects throughout its history. Here are some highlights from recent years.
Major expansion in Kennewick’s Southridge area was spurred by the Port and City of Kennewick’s multi-year land development efforts.
The Port collaborated with the City of Kennewick to establish a local revitalization financing arrangement (commonly known as tax-increment financing) to support Southridge development. This partnership allowed local tax revenues generated in the revitalization area to fund infrastructure investments at Southridge.
Development at Southridge has boomed including Southridge High School, restaurants, retails shops, single-and multi-family housing, the City of Kennewick sports complex, the Carousel of Dreams, and Trios Health hospital. Hundreds of jobs have been created as a result of development in Southridge, and the area continues to grow.
The 15-acre Wine Estates Business Park adjacent to Keene Road is within West Richland city limits and the West Richland Urban Growth Area.
To date, 13 acres have sold with private-sector investment at Wine Estates Development Park currently totaling 61,040 square feet of buildings with an assessed value of $9.7 million.
The Port sold the remaining two, one-acre sites to Benton County Fire Protection District No. 4 to locate its new West Richland fire station. Sale of that property to the fire district will greatly enhance the life, safety and fire protection needs of the residents and businesses of West Richland.
Residents of Benton County passed a bond in August 2018 authorizing the fire district to build a three-bay station in West Richland to serve the rapidly growing western portion of the 52-square-mile fire district. The area is anticipated to have an additional 10,000 to 20,000 residents in that immediate area within the next 20 years.
The last parcel at Spaulding has been sold. The Port and City of Richland teamed to develop the 30-acre business park to promote urban renewal of Richland’s Island View area. The Port of Kennewick and City of Richland teamed on this project and others because the Port’s taxing district encompasses Richland south of the Yakima River.
The initial investment of $2.6 million turned into 218,000 square feet of private-sector buildings worth nearly $53 million in assessed value. And that investment sparked major revitalization in adjacent areas including new apartments, commercial and office buildings in the surrounding neighborhoods, and recognition of the Island View area as a desirable waterfront hub. Private-sector investment at Spaulding supports nearly 500 local jobs.
Badger Mountain Trailhead Park expanded parking project was completed in 2016. The project involved the construction of a paved, 76-space lot to improve public safety and reduce congestion and parking on Queensgate Drive. The work was a partnership between the Port, City of Richland, and Benton County designed to improve access to the Friends of Badger Mountain’s trail network. Badger Mountain and the ridgeline trails are extraordinary places that enhance our region’s quality of life.
The Yakima River Gateway project enhanced the entrance to West Richland and created a new city park and access to the river and paved trails. Other public amenities include a 53-stall parking lot, bathroom facilities, a stormwater treatment pond, a new bridge, interpretive signs and an overlook structure with bike racks and park benches. The Port partnered with the City of West Richland on the project.
The Port sold the 93-acre West Richland Industrial Park to the City of West Richland in 2019 to accommodate a new police station and create opportunities for additional development.
The Port and City have partnered over the years to identify projects in the western portion of the Port district that would benefit the West Richland community. Previously, the Port teamed with the city to annex the West Richland Industrial Park into the West Richland urban growth area. Port staff also worked to extinguish deed restrictions from the site.
Port of Kennewick has been working on economic development projects in the City of West Richland since 1954 when an overwhelming citizen vote expanded the Port district to include the eastern-half of Benton County.