Richland proposes 3 development sites in Columbia Point area

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldNovember 10, 2013 

This artist's rendering depicts what development of city-owned Columbia Point land southeast of the Shilo Inn and north of the golf course could look like. The city's vision is for a mixed-use entertainment area.

COURTESY CITY OF RICHLAND

Richland is seeking proposals for three sites in the Columbia Point area, with the vision of a new restaurant next to Anthony's, a boutique hotel and a mixed-use entertainment area.

A request for proposals has been published and is circulating locally and around the state and region.

"To complete the project is really to wrap up what's been a decades-long development process.

"It's an opportunity to create a daytime and evening entertainment hub right here in Richland," said Brian Moore, the city's redevelopment project supervisor.

Mayor John Fox noted the city already has infrastructure in place to support the sites, which he described as premier city real estate

"I think this is a great step forward for us, and I hope we get a lot of interest in it," Fox said.

The three sites are owned by the city and are the last waterfront sites open for development in the Columbia Point Master Plan area, which covers the territory from the marina to the Shilo Inn.

The city envisions development that "integrates and links adjacent properties" and is "balanced to create a place of enjoyment for both tourists and local citizens," according to the request for proposals document.

It also says, "opportunities should be increased for public use and enjoyment of the Columbia River and the shoreline while enhancing the area's economic base."

Two of the three sites are next to the Anthony's at Columbia Point restaurant -- one on either side.

The third site is southeast of the Shilo Inn and north of the Columbia Point Golf Course.

The site to the east of Anthony's is about 1.6 acres and is envisioned as home to a restaurant. The site to the west of Anthony's is about 2 acres, and the goal there is a boutique-style hotel "providing high-end accommodations that can support a range of tourism, such as wine country and waterfront tourism activities, business and other travel needs," the request says.

The third site is about 22 acres, with the city anticipating development on about 11 acres. The vision there is for an entertainment area that could be home to restaurants, bars, boutique retail shops and perhaps some higher-density, multifamily residential options.

About nine of the 22 acres recently were repurchased by the city from ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston. The city a few years ago sold the land to the company, which intended to build an office building there.

But the company's plans changed, and the city had negotiated the right to buy back the property for the sale price if development didn't happen.

The repurchase closed last spring.

Deadline for submitting proposals for the three Columbia Point sites is Dec. 6.

Once the proposals are in, city staffers and a subcommittee of the city council will review them and make recommendations to the full council. The council could make its selections by March.

Fox said he expects the proposals "will probably involve some time frame to fully build out, so people shouldn't expect instant results."

Moore said work at the hotel and restaurant sites could begin within a year of a council decision and work at the mixed-use site within 18 to 24 months.

-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @saraTCHerald

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