Richland council signs off on property surplus


The Richland City Council has signed off on a property surplus that sets the stage for a redevelopment project in the city's central business district.

The council this week unanimously approved a resolution declaring surplus of a half-acre parcel near the northwest corner of Swift Boulevard and George Washington Way -- a step that's needed to sell the city-owned land.

The land today is home to a public parking lot that isn't heavily used, and a Tri-City businessman who owns abutting property is interested in buying it as part of a redevelopment plan. Greg Markel has said he envisions three new buildings -- a restaurant with a drive-thru, a retail building and an office building.

He would tear down an existing single-story building on his property to clear the way.

Along with the surplus vote, the city council also directed staff to negotiate "a market value" sale of the parking lot land to Markel.

Bill King, deputy city manager, said the sale agreement -- if reached -- will come back to the city council for approval.

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