Columbia Drive Revitalization in Historic Downtown Kennewick
FAQ: Why is the port not building residential on the waterfront?
Answer: Ports and Cities have restrictions on their ability to engage in residential development--so instead we are working to clean up the waterfront, remove tired buildings, prepare and open up sites, and invest in the infrastructure that will create shovel-ready land for sale or lease. We are working to first create gathering places and points of interest (with public art installations too) that will create a fresh perspective for this end of town. Then, as visitation to and awareness of this area increases, and the waterfront (both on Cover Island and the adjacent Columbia Drive) becomes more desirable, we are confident that private residential development will follow and will subsequently foster support for retail and commercial options within The Willows area as a future mixed-use development, since that site is closer to Clover Island/downtown.
One particularly difficult issue for our community is the fact that the US Army Corps of Engineers owns and controls the majority of Columbia River frontage in this community so there is very limited waterfront property available for either residential or commercial development. However, because the Port owns Clover Island and nearly 16 acres along Duffy's Pond; we chose to focus our revitalization efforts first on Clover Island and now on the adjacent Columbia Drive waterfront.
Economic development is a long-range strategy--it doesn't happen overnight. Just like other cities who have successfully gentrified industrial waterfronts, initial public investments helped shift those areas to renewed vitality. There is much potential, and we are only just beginning to tip Kennewick's historic waterfront. The Port and City and CBC are all working to be the catalyst for those "soulful" amenities research has identified as missing from our community. However, the Port and City cannot and should not do it alone (we do not want to compete with the private sector--we simply want to provide opportunities for mutual benefit) and we would welcome the opportunity to visit with any developers interested in becoming part of Kennewick's urban renewal.
The latest news
Our Voice: Columbia Gardens progress may be the tipping point for downtown Kennewick. Tri-City Herald Editorial. December 22, 2016
Make Way for Wine. Public Works Magazine. December 21, 2016
When Wine and Real Estate Merge. NW Wine and Real Estate. December 21, 2016
Palencia, Bartholomew commit to Kennewick's urban wine village. Tri-City Herald. December 18, 2016
Port of Kennewick selects Bartholomew, Vino La Monarcha for wine village. Great Northwest Wine. December 15, 2016
2 wineries plan to move into new Kennewick wine village. Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business. December 14, 2016
First Village wine tenants named. KVEW TV. December 14, 2016
Artist meets with Latino community to create mural. KVEW TV. December 9, 2016
Latino heritage murals commissioned for Columbia Gardens Wine Village. tu Decides. November 16, 2016
Port commissions Latino heritage murals. Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business. November 2016
High school culinary students look to new CBC facility. KVEW TV. November 7, 2016
Our Voice: CBC culinary school a game-changer. Tri-City Herald Editorial Board. November 2, 2016.
CBC plots $10M culinary move to Kennewick waterfront. Tri-City Herald. October 18, 2016
New urban wine & artisan village coming to Kennewick. KVEW TV February 19, 2016
Kennewick creating space for wineries on Columbia Drive. KEPR TV February 18, 2016
Our Voice: Bridge to Bridge plan making significant strides. Tri-City Herald Editorial. June 23, 2015
Wastewater pre-treatment recommended for Columbia Drive Wine Village. Tri-City Herald. May 26, 015
Kennewick's Duffy's Pond trail extension moves forward. Tri-City Herald. March 22, 2015
Columbia Gardens...an Urban Wine & Artisan Village
Adjacent to Clover Island, the port and city are working to bring urban wineries to Kennewick's historic downtown by transforming the Columbia Gardens neighborhood. The vision for that area includes a pedestrian-friendly, destination waterfront where residents and visitors can stroll between tasting rooms, restaurants, boutique shops, and an artisan incubator; enjoying outdoor concerts, public art, and watchable wildlife along a scenic nature trail. Wineries will be able to connect directly to a new city-owned effluent pre-treatment facility. The city is working to have the pre-treatment facility in place so that boutique production wineries can be in place and operating by crush of 2017. The Port staff is currently under construction on three new buildings specifically designed to accommodate the needs of boutique wine tenants. And the port and city of kennewick, Benton County and Columbia Basin College are working to bring a Center for Culinary Arts Education to the historic waterfront.
Center for Culinary Arts Education
At a joint meeting in October 2016, port commissioners and city council members directed staff to partner with Columbia Basin College for a culinary arts center and to make additional infrastructure investments as catalyst projects for transforming east Columbia Drive. The $10 million Center for Culinary Arts Education would be located in The Willows, on port-owned land adjacent to Clover Island, and serve as a complementary anchor to the second phase of development at the Columbia Gardens Wine & Artisan Village. As planned, the two-story, 20,000-square-foot culinary arts center will house three kitchens, a student-operated restaurant, retail bakery, and an event center. This project will provide valuable and needed workforce training and spur future employment, development and private-sector investment throughout the historic downtown.
View the: Columbia Gardens schematic The Willows schematic Columbia Drive Redevelopment 10.1.13 presentation by Gary Black
Urban Wine Village Economic Impact White Paper Pattern Language by Gary Black Wine Industry Economic Impact 10.1.13 presentation by Jim Hagar Port Agenda Report & Resolution 2013-24 for Columbia Gardens Interlocal Agreement Port & City Columbia Gardens Interlocal Agreement
Columbia Drive Redevelopment
View the: Tri-City Herald Story 10.22.13 Tri-City Herald Editorial 10.22.13 Tri-City Herald Story 10.20.13 Tri-City Herald Story 10.1.13 KNDU TV Story 10.22.13 KNDU TV Story 10.1.13
Port of Kennewick and City of Kennewick are jointly working to revitalize three parcels of the historic Columbia Drive neighborhood owned by the Port of Kennewick. The port-owned parcels which are branded as The Willows; Columbia Gardens, and Cable Greens are located on Kennewick's waterfront between Clover Island Drive on the west, the Cable Bridge on the east, Columbia Drive on the south, and the Columbia River/Duffy's Pond to the north. The first phase of the jurisdictions' joint plan is to focus on transforming the Columbia Gardens area into a Wine & Artisan Village that would allow production wineries to locate within city limits, and create opportunities for arts and artisans, specialty suppliers, and cottage vendors.
The photo at left shows port and city personnel showcasing the Columbia Gardens and The Willows redevelopment projects at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers annual conference and tradeshow in February.
The port has been working for years to bring urban renewal to Clover Island and the surrounding Columbia River waterfront, and has been strategizing with the city on how to colletively capitalize on the Mid-Columbia's connection to the wine industry to help bring new jobs, new businesses, and tourism spending to downtown Kennewick. Under the proposed master plan, the centrally located Columbia Gardens would be a commercial center, offering space for larger winery operations and industry support businesses; Cable Greens at the base of the Cable Bridge, could serve as light industrial space for the wineries; and The Willows, located between Clover Island and historic downtown Kennewick would have residential space, and could serve as an incubator for boutique and new-start wineries, tasting rooms, restaurants, cafes, shops, art studios, and open public spaces. The photo above right shows the joint city/port meeting to discuss redeveloping Columbia Drive--nearly 80 ctizens turned out in favor of the redevelopment vision and city/port partnership revitalization efforts.
Brief History of Columbia Drive Redevelopment Efforts
View the KEPR TV News Story August 13, 2013 The Willows Wine Village Pattern Language Initial Columbia Drive Conceptual Plan
The Port of Kennewick has worked to acquire waterfont property, north of Columbia Drive in Historic Downtown Kennewick; this project site is bordered on the east by the Cable Bridge (SR 397) and the west by Clover Island Drive. The neighborhood, initially plated as Columbia Gardens, is located on Kennewick's original Columbia River waterfront and is adjacent to what is now known as Duffy's Pond. The pond was created in the 1950s when the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed the shoreline levee as part of their flood control efforts in building McNary Dam. Slackwater impounded behind that dam flooded Clover Island reducing it from 162 acres to the current 16-acre island. Those levees effectively divided the city and citizens from the Columbia River; and for many years economic development efforts were focused away from the rivershore.
Then, in 2003, the Urban Design Assistance Team completed the Bridge to Bridge, River to Railroad plan for historic downtown Kennewick. The port, embracing a renewed enthusiasm for rivershore development, approved a shoreline master plan for Clover Island. And subsequently, the port began aquiring tired and worn buildings and property on Columbia Drive as part of a much-needed long-term, urban renewal effort, and as a way to create a connection between Clover Island and historic downtown.
Stated port Chief Executive Officer, Tim Arntzen, “I envision that one day this will be a vibrant waterfront destination. It may take 10 or 20 years to identify the resources, acquire property, and develop a master plan. The Port’s role is to help create jobs and improve quality of life. And the Clover Island Shoreline Restoration Plan and the Port’s acquisition of Columbia Drive property hold great promise." The port's goal is to transform the Columbia Drive/Duffy's Pond neighborhood into an attractive, economically viable, mixed-use commercial destination... with trails, retail space, wine bars, restaurants, and residential living. It is a long-term plan for urban renewal, yet is has already produced significant positive results for the community--from reducing criminal activity in the area, to improving views, stimulating private investment in adjacent parcels, and expanding public use of shoreline trails and pathways, to fostering community clean-up projects, and encouraging citizen support for public amenities on the waterfront. There is still a long-way to go, and the port is proud of the work that has already been done to improve the community's ownership of, and access to, their greatest asset--the Columbia River.
A temporary parking lot was created in the former Willows area to accommodate users of the adjacent Sacagawea Heritage Trail, and to serve as over-flow parking for concerts and community events coordinated by the Clover Island Inn.
The Port also acquired the former Cable Greens property at the base of the Cable Bridge (at the east end of the pond), and has used port maintenance staff and Coyote Ridge Correctional Facility inmate labor to clean and maintain the property until future development. This property offers spectacular views of the Cable Bridge (the longest, concrete cable-stay suspension bridge in the US when built) and also of the Columbia River; and the site features a city-owned parking lot offering access to a short nature trail for viewing the diverse wildlife inhabiting Duffy's Pond.
The port's Columbia Drive efforts truly are helping transform the older downtown; reducing crime, improving aesthetics, preparing the area for commercial investment, and showcasing the development potential of Kennewick’s original waterfront.