About Port of Kennewick
The Port’s leadership is making tough decisions regarding current and future use of the district’s resources. And Port of Kennewick staff are working with economic development partners in West Richland, Richland, Kennewick, Benton City, and Benton County, to foster sustainable business, industrial, and commercial development district-wide. View the 2014 Work Plan. View the 2014 Budget.
Charter Local Edition Northwest Interviews with Tim Artnzen, Port of Kennewick Executive Director:
Urban Renewal and Waterfront Restoration
The Port is looking for opportunities to revitalize commercial neighborhoods, and enhance the community’s waterfront. The Clover Island Shoreline Restoration Plan and the Port’s acquisition of Columbia Drive property hold great promise for bringing new restaurants, shopping, spas, entertainment, trails, waterfront access, and lifestyle amenities to historic downtown Kennewick.
The Port’s investment in the Clover Island Riverwalk an opportunity to provide a boost that can energize and transform a neighborhood in transition into a vibrant retail, residential, and tourism destination. In 2011, the Port received the Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association's first-ever Concrete Community Award to honor the Clover Island Lighthouse. And the Building Industry Association of Washington named the Port's Clover Island Lighthouse their Community Improvement Project of the Year for 2010. View images of lighthouse construction.
Artwork and architecture are key elements in the Port of Kennewick's urban renewal efforts for Clover Island in Historic Downtown Kennewick. In December 2010 a crowd gathered to dedicate a new shade structure over the Metz Family Plaza, and celebrate the "Family Group" the third piece of public art installed at Clover Island.
The Port is working hard to bring new jobs and quality of life amenities to Clover Island, and to provide opportunities to showcase the region’s rich and diverse history. Plans to repair the island’s degraded shoreline and add public pathways, gathering places, fishing platforms, benches, and artworks for the public’s enjoyment will bring new life and recreation to the island; new business and jobs to Kennewick; and environmental stewardship to the Columbia River.
The Port of Kennewick received the 2007 Downtown Revitalization Award, from the City of Kennewick Block Grant Advisory Committee and the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership, for the Port’s urban renewal efforts and the two-story professional office and commercial building completed on Clover Island.
Fresh Approach to Asset Management
The Port of Kennewick is taking a new approach to economic development, including the sale of real property to help drive commercial and business investment in targeted areas. And business owners are building offices, expanding warehouses, and adding jobs at the Vista Field Industrial Park. At Spaulding Business Park, the port paid $2.6 million for the land and improvements. It then sold parcels to the private sector and transformed the site into a waterfront complex for medical and professional offices. What was once debris-strewn, vacant land is now worth $26 million in taxable assessed property values. To date, 164,228 square feet of buildings have been completed within the business park. The port has only one remaining 1.29 acre parcel available within the 31.6 acre Spaulding Business Park. Interested parties should contact Amber Hanchette, port director of real estate and operations at 509-586-8596.
Vista Field represents 112 acres in the heart of the Tri-Cities. The former Vista Field airport closed to all aviation activity on December 31, 2013. Closing the airport eliminates a $390,000 annual tax subsidy. Closure also provides a unique opportunity to create a regional destination with shopping, entertainment, residential and flex industrial areas. A consultant study for that area, prepared with significant community input, proposed a chain of new public open spaces, parks, and plazas; water features and civic improvements; and possibly even a "canal walk" similar to those in Bricktown, Oklahoma or San Antonio, Texas. Redevelopment would be implemented in phases and designed for connectivity with other neighborhoods--especially the Entertainment District and the Columbia Center Shopping area. Vista Field Airport Planning, Environmental and Economic Analysis.
In other areas, the Port is leasing property to foster burgeoning industries. The Port leases space in their Industrial Parks to a variety of manufacturing businesses. The Port coordinated a land-swap with a private developer in West Richland; thus enabling the wine industry’s renowned Randall Grahm to create Pacific Rim Estates—the new, biodynamic Riesling production facility. In addition, the Port’s purchase of 92 acres, near the acclaimed Red Mountain winery appellation in Benton County, is setting the stage for converting a defunct raceway into a wine-related business and commercial hub for West Richland.
The Port seeks to be a catalyst for recreation, tourism and quality of life. The Clover Island Marina renovation was completed one year early and under budget. In addition to leased moorage, the marina offers a public boat launch and moorage, restrooms, showers, security cameras, and oil spill and emergency response equipment. In fact, the Port of Kennewick received a 2008 Build Washington Award from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington for the marina project, which named it their Top Construction Project of the Year in the heavy/industrial category.
The Port also built a new retail/office building on Clover Island and provided leased space for Ice Harbor Brewing at the Marina—bringing a new restaurant/craft brewery to Clover Island—the first new building on the island since 1979.
Fostering Economic Development
Port districts are the only government agencies whose primary responsibility is to foster economic development activity for their communities. The Port of Kennewick was established in 1915, and takes its economic development authority seriously. By building and operating development buildings, industrial parks, a public use marina, and commercial waterfronts; and through buying, developing, and selling of land and properties, the port is working to facilitate trade, tourism, recreation and employment opportunities within the district. The Port of Kennewick district includes Kennewick, West Richland, south Richland, and parts of Benton City and County.