Pasco officials are hoping to spruce up a gateway to the city with shops, restaurants and a hotel on five acres near the Tri-Cities Airport.
The City Council recently approved the sale of property on the southeast corner of 20th Avenue and Argent Road to a Kennewick developer.
The two-phase project by A-1 Properties LLC would bring in about $1 million for Pasco, and support traffic at the newly expanded airport and the adjacent student housing for Columbia Basin College.
Deputy City Manager Stan Strebel told council members that the developer will try to move as quickly as he can. The deadline is May 2018 to exercise the option to purchase the first parcel, and January 2022 for the second parcel.
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The purchase price is $5 per square foot, but it is subject to inflation in 2020. The money would go into the city’s Economic Development Fund.
“The development of the property will provide needed commercial and hospitality services for both CBC and the airport,” Strebel said, “while increasing business opportunities in the city and enhancing the city’s sales and property tax base.”
The council also voted to give City Manager Dave Zabell authorization to enter into an agreement with Vijay Patel, president of A-1 Properties. Further details of the sale and the project still need to be refined.
The proposed commercial development would fill in the remainder of a 10-acre lot that was part of the original Sun Willows Golf Course.
Last June, Pasco approved the sale of the first five acres at $796,000 for the student housing project.
The community college broke ground in September, and the $7 million first phase of the apartment units is expected to be ready this fall, with about 125 beds. Students reportedly will lease beds rather than units, though rents have not been disclosed.
City staff said this second strip of land closer to 20th Avenue could include dining, a dry cleaner, a hair salon, coffee shops and other retail.
The city envisions a hotel going in near the corner, making it the third hotel on the strip outside the airport.