Tri-City area port commissioners laid out a list of projects officials hope will bring more private investment to the community.
Those projects help private businesses create jobs, Port of Pasco Commission President Bill Clark told about 200 people Wednesday at the State of the Ports event hosted by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce at the Richland Red Lion.
Port of Kennewick
One project under construction in the Port of Kennewick's Spaulding Business Park in Richland is expected to bring 100 jobs to the Tri-Cities, said Port of Kennewick Commission President Skip Novakovich.
The $4.5 million Eden Medical Center, a four-story building, is one of several new buildings taking shape in the park, where the port installed the infrastructure and then marketed the land to private development.
The port also plans to start construction on the first phase of the Village at Island Harbor in spring 2012, Novakovich said. The 1.25-acre mixed-use development will be on the south side of Clover Island between Ice Harbor at the Marina and the new Clover Island Yacht Club building.
The port plans to build a 2,600-square-foot building that would be ideal for a restaurant, with a glass atrium attached for outdoor seating, said Larry Peterson, the port's director of planning and development. The port also will build public areas, including a stage and an 1,800-square-foot building along a boardwalk that could be used for seasonal concessions.
Phase one is estimated to cost about $1.5 million, he said.
Ideally, the port would lease the remaining land to private companies to develop other projects, he said.
Port of Pasco
The Port of Pasco's Osprey Pointe project is similar. The port opened its first building in the waterfront business park this year and plans to build a second building to rent out in the same area.
The project could go out to bid in November, depending on negotiations with Safety Kleen, which is one of the proposed tenants, said Jim Toomey, the port's executive director. Construction on the building would begin in 2012.
Adding rail into the Big Pasco Industrial Center helped attract the transload of wind energy turbine blades to the port, Clark said. BNSF Railway Co. rents port land to store the parts, which are brought in by rail and transported out by truck.
The port has one mile of track to finish in the final phase, Toomey said. That mile likely would cost around $1.4 million.
The Port of Pasco is also planning to expand the Tri-Cities Airport terminal building to accommodate the growth in people boarding planes. Clark said the port expects to see a continued growth of about 2.8 percent per year.
The terminal project will expand the security screening area, relocate the bathrooms and add seating and boarding space.
Ron Foraker, Tri-Cities Airport director, said the project is still in the concept phase. Design is planned for 2012, and the project may go to bid in 2013.
The terminal upgrade could cost about $6.5 million, which the port could pay using fees collected on airline tickets.
Port of Benton
Port of Benton Commissioner Bob Larson said he feels that the future for the Tri-Cities is in the wine industry.
The Port of Benton is working on the second phase of Prosser's Vintner's Village. Larson said officials hope to attract businesses there that support wineries.
John Haakenson, the port's director of airports and operations, said the port just started marketing the 20 lots includes in phase 2. The port finished installing the infrastructure in late spring.
The first phase of Prosser's Vintner's Village included Yellow Rose Nursery and 14 wineries, Larson said. That project took more than 10 years.
In Richland, the Port of Benton intends to operate the Tri-Cities Enterprise Center as an incubator for new and small businesses, Larson said. The port purchased the building from Washington State University Tri-Cities several months ago.
The port is working with one of the four tenants to increase the business' space, Haakenson said. And a bakery and a brewery/restaurant also will open there soon.