Construction may begin in fall on wine-inspired development along Columbia Drive

By Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldMarch 30, 2014 

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The city of Kennewick is working wth the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on finishing a trail around Duffy's Pond. The pond stretches behind the Kennewick riverbank from North Clover Island Drive to the cable bridge.

TRI-CITY HERALD FILE

Construction could start this fall on the first two buildings in the Port of Kennewick and city of Kennewick's wine-inspired development along Columbia Drive.

In the meantime, the city is moving forward on a treatment system for waste water from the winemaking process. Such a system will help attract boutique wineries to the area, officials have said.

The port and city are working to jump-start a boutique wine village at Columbia Gardens, about six acres of port-owned in the middle of Columbia Drive that used to be the home of Beaver Furniture and the Chieftain Apartments.

The port is investigating remodeling two buildings at 211 and 421 E. Columbia Drive, said Larry Peterson, the port's director of planning and development.

The 421 building may provide space for wineries to rent, while the 211 building could become an art incubator space.

Port officials hope to ask for bids for the projects in late September or October, with construction beginning as soon as November.

Peterson said the goal is to have the winery building completed in time for wine grape crush in 2015. It may take longer to finish the arts incubator building.

The Kennewick City Council on Tuesday will consider hiring Spokane's Cascade Earth Sciences, also called CES, for planning related to the wine waste water treatment facility, said Evelyn Lusignan, the city's customer service manager.

The city will pay CES $53,900 as part of the agreement, according to city documents. The city budgeted about $800,000 to design and build the wine effluent treatment plant.

As part of the proposal, CES would complete a conceptual design and determine phasing for the wine waste treatment facility collection and treatment system, Lusignan said. The company also will determine needed infrastructure and layout for the first phase of construction.

A topographic site survey also will be done so it can be used for the conceptual system layout and final design phases, she said.

Peterson said officials also are working on the best location for the winery effluent treatment system.

The city also has applied to the Army Corps of Engineers so the walking trail can be finished around Duffy's Pond, Lusignan said. Part of the proposed trail would be on Corps land.

The trail path as proposed would fit in well with the master plan for Columbia Gardens, Peterson said.

Overall, port and city officials hope having small, boutique wineries open on Columbia Drive will act as a catalyst for the redevelopment in the city's bridge to bridge area.

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

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