Team reviewing 3 proposals for Columbia Point development

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 10, 2014 

A team of Richland city staffers and officials is reviewing three development proposals for city-owned property in the Columbia Point area -- two for land envisioned as holding a boutique hotel and one for a restaurant site.

The city council could decide as early as next month which proposals to pursue.

Brian Moore, Richland's redevelopment project supervisor, said he can't reveal many details at this stage. But, "I'm very excited about the proposals," he said, adding that the developers are all from the Northwest.

The city published a request for proposals for three city-owned sites. Two of the sites are next to Anthony's restaurant at Columbia Point.

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

The site directly to the east of Anthony's is about 1.6 acres, and city officials envision it as a good place for another restaurant. The site to the west of Anthony's is about 2 acres, and the goal there is for a boutique-style hotel.

The third site is several times larger, envisioned as an entertainment area with features such as restaurants, bars, boutique shops and possibly some higher-density multifamily residential options.

Moore said that site, which didn't attract any proposals, "might have been too big a bite" for developers, and the strategy moving forward may be to divide it into smaller sections.

As for the other two sites, the review team of staff and members of the city council and the city's economic development committee will make a recommendation on which of the proposals to pursue.

Their recommendation should go to the full economic development committee later this month, and then the matter will head to the city council.

Councilman Terry Christensen, who's part of the review group, said he'd hoped to see more proposals come through for the sites.

"That just didn't happen, so we'll try to work through what we've got and see if something fits," he said. If not, the city will develop a strategy for moving forward, he said.

The three sites are the last waterfront sites open for development within the Columbia Point Master Plan area.

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

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