Port of Kennewick hires consultant again for Vista Field Airport

Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldMarch 29, 2014 

The consultant who helped the Port of Kennewick flesh out possibilities for Vista Field Airport will return to help the port figure out how to inspire redevelopment.

Port commissioners have hired Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. to develop a master plan for redeveloping the former airport.

The contract is for up to $383,000. Tim Arntzen, the port's executive director, told commissioners recently that the port is getting a good value for a "top-shelf" firm that already is familiar with the former airport.

The consultant will use a process similar to the Vista Field closure discussions to gather community input to help craft a plan to move forward, said Larry Peterson, the port's director of planning and development.

The port commission unanimously decided to close the small general aviation airport in favor of redevelopment. The airport closed Dec. 31.

The master planning effort will give the port a plan for phasing and a financing strategy, he said.

A developer is being brought in to make sure that whatever is envisioned for the 113 acres at Vista Field is realistic.

The master plan will include suggestions for streets, public spaces and key locations for certain buildings, Peterson said.

The consultant team also will work on design standards and possible code amendments that might be needed for the redevelopment, Peterson said.

Port Commissioner Skip Novakovich said choosing DPZ is a wise decision, considering how well the firm has already performed.

It's important that the port have a strategy for the proposed redevelopment of the former airport and not just a plan, he said.

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-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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