The Port has teamed with its City and County partners on many projects throughout its history. Here are some highlights from recent years.
Port of Kennewick, with investments from Benton County and City of Kennewick, completed infrastructure for the initial 20 acres at Vista Field in late 2021. The Port is following a community-driven master plan to transform the site into a regional town center.
The phase one work involved constructing utilities, interior roadways, landscaping, civic spaces, a commercial plaza, pond, fountains, a linear park and a water feature. A new street, named Crosswind Boulevard, now connects across the former airfield from Deschutes to Grandridge Boulevard and Canal Drive to create critical access to and through the site.
The Port will act as the master developer, selling land to the private sector for residential, commercial and retail development and using those proceeds to help fund future infrastructure in phases. View the Site Opening event video.
Vista Field is a 103-acre site owned by Port of Kennewick. The site operated as little-used general aviation airport until December 2013 when it was decommissioned for a higher and better use. Interesting to note: Vista Field airport was once used as a training field for Navy pilots during World War II. Learn more about Vista Field’s ties to WWII history.
Visit the Vista Field website.
The first two phases of development at Columbia Gardens Wine & Artisan Village are finished.
The work involved constructing four winery buildings and a food truck plaza with a shaded seating area. Crews also added a loop road, parking, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, utilities, an iconic bus shelter and new artwork installations.
Port of Kennewick is now offering shovel-ready parcels at Columbia Gardens for sale or ground lease to encourage private-sector development.
The Port partnered with the City of Kennewick, Benton County and the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund Advisory Committee to transform that former industrial neighborhood. The partners designed the destination gathering place that overlooks the interior Columbia River waterfront and scenic pathway to support small businesses, attract private sector investment and expand jobs in the community.
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.
Partnerships are an essential part of advancing growth in our community. Port of Kennewick frequently teams with its economic development partners, grant funding agencies and other entities to make a difference throughout the Port District.
Here are some examples of the Port helping to enhance the community and support public safety.
City of Kennewick made improvements to Washington Street with the help of a $500,000 Port of Kennewick investment. The City widened sidewalks, repaved, planted trees, installed signage and streetlights, and extended a sidewalk from the former Willows Trailer Park to the levee crossing at the Clover Island gateway. These improvements help create a visual corridor and a pedestrian connection between Kennewick’s historic waterfront and the downtown commercial core.
Port of Kennewick supported the City of Kennewick’s Fire Station #3 project at Vista Field. The Port granted the City a quarter acre of land and extended Vista Field sewer utilities to the City’s adjacent property to support the development. The Port also invested $125,000 toward an access road, landscaping and utilities to serve the fire station and as an entryway to Vista Field. The station’s design complements the New Urbanism style planned for Vista Field.
Port of Kennewick invested $800,000 in City of Richland’s Island View revitalization project to make it more efficient for vehicles and pedestrians. That project encompassed road, utility, pedestrian and recreational-access improvements to Columbia Park Trail from the Highway 240 Steptoe off-ramp to the REACH Museum entrance.
Port of Kennewick sold 93 acres (former Tri-City Raceway site) to the City of West Richland at a steep discount to accommodate the City’s police station and create additional development opportunities. Prior to the sale, the Port worked to remove deed restrictions, address urban growth boundary limitations and annex property into the City limits. With 20,000 more residents anticipated within the next 20 years, selling that property was critical to helping reduce response times and ensure continued public safety within a rapidly transitioning part of the Port of Kennewick District. 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.
Port of Kennewick sold land to Benton County Fire District #4 to build a new fire station to serve West Richland’s expanding residential and commercial neighborhoods. The Port recognizes public safety is an essential component of economic development. Strategically located fire stations help reduce response times for fires and medical crises and lower insurance rates for residential and commercial buildings. Robust public safety services also help attract and retain businesses and employees and enhance the region’s quality of life.
Port of Kennewick partnered with the City of West Richland on the Yakima River Gateway project, which enhanced the entrance to West Richland and created a new city park with 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.
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 of Kennewick, 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 port invested $400,000 in City of Richland's Center Parkway North road extension project to connect Tapteal Drive in Richland with Gage Boulevard near the Columbia Center Mall in Kennewick. The construction included a three-lane roadway with bike lanes, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and a signalized, gated at-grade railroad crossing. The project improves traffic flow and expands retail development opportunities in Kennewick and Richland.