A $1.8 million remodel of two buildings the Port of Kennewick owns in the Oak Street Industrial Park should be finished in August.
Port staff hope to start showing the six rental spaces in the business incubator buildings near Third Avenue in Kennewick to possible tenants in July, port commissioners were told during a Tuesday meeting.
The 17,645-square-foot building and the 16,865-square-foot building were built in the mid-80s and were modified to serve a single tenant's needs, said Larry Peterson, the port's director of planning and development.
TiLite, a company that manufactures wheelchairs, rented the Oak Street buildings before moving in December 2010 into the former Food Pavilion building on West Court Street in Pasco.
Peterson said the company grew from 10 employees to about 140 during its time in the Oak Street incubator space.
The remodel will take the buildings back to like-new condition, with separate spaces for six different businesses, Peterson said. Spaces ranging from 4,500 to 6,000 square feet will be available.
Improvements include modifying the buildings to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, replacing restrooms, upgrading lighting, electrical and communication systems and upgrading the exterior facade.
The port also changed about 176 old light fixtures to more efficient ones. Part of the cost of the lighting upgrades was covered by Benton PUD's Lighting Energy Efficiency Program.
Port commission President Skip Novakovich said he hopes the remodeled spaces will help new local business grow and add jobs.
At full occupancy, the incubators could mean up to 120 jobs and an annual revenue to the port of $186,000, port officials have said.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org