Richland is hoping to get some help in finding a new location for city hall.
The city seeks 1.8 acres in the parking lot of the Federal Courthouse, just across Jadwin Avenue from the current building, but negotiations with the U.S. General Services Administration have stalled, said Brian Moore, Richland’s redevelopment project supervisor.
“There was a gap between what we thought that property was worth and what the feds think it is worth,” Moore told the city council at its Tuesday workshop.
Moore hopes that Richland can work with Columbia Basin College on a land swap. He said CBC is interested in taking over a records building surplused by the federal government near the intersection of Mansfield Street and Northgate Drive so it can expand its health science center.
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“It’s sort of a roundabout way to get there, but it’s sort of what we needed to do to get the 1.8 acres moving more quickly,” he said.
The council is expected to vote on an agreement with the college at an upcoming meeting.
The new city hall and CBC improvements are considered part of the Swift corridor redevelopment plan, Moore said. Kadlec Regional Medical Center is also part of the plan. It is expanding its hospital from six floors to 10 floors, and adding a five-story, 600-space parking garage, possibly with retail on the ground floor, at the corner of Swift Boulevard and Goethals Drive.
Richland is also considering a new location for its central fire station, but the planned location for city hall is too small to also include that, Deputy City Manager Bill King said.
The site at the corner of Swift Boulevard and Jadwin Avenue is not the only one Richland is considering for its new city hall, but is the preferred site for now, City Manager Cindy Johnson said. She also asked the council to consider making finding a location and money for the project one of its goals.
The city is looking for a new location for its offices so it can sell the existing city hall on busy George Washington Way, Johnson said after the meeting. That could help redevelop the area.
“We know the property right here is prime economic development,” she said.