The former owner of Columbia Park Golf Course plans to build an office building and a restaurant just off Columbia Center Boulevard with some of the $2.46 million he earned in a lawsuit settlement with the city of Kennewick.
Gary Long Jr. has requested permits to build a 9,500-square-foot office complex and a 4,000-square-foot restaurant at 901 N. Colorado St., where the Tri-City Development Council, or TRIDEC, used to have its offices.
Nick Kovarik, Long's attorney, said construction could begin this summer if the site plan permits are done in time.
The site includes a strip of land that Long got from the city in May 2010 to resolve a second dispute with the city over taking back the golf course and reimbursing him for his long-term investments in the course.
The settlement approved was separate from Long's breach of contract lawsuit over developing the golf course amenities to include an RV park.
At the time, the city council agreed to give Long the strip of land in a 6-1 vote, with Councilman John Hubbard opposed. The agreement gave Long $250,000 in cash and a quit claim deed to the strip of land where the Toyota Center sign is located, said Kovarik, who is based in Spokane.
That strip will provide more spaces for parking for Long's new buildings. The marquee sign will remain in place.
"We plan to have landscaping all along Columbia Center Boulevard with trees," Kovarik said.
Long's two new buildings also will require removing a pork chop-shaped island at the intersection and repositioning of the light signals, which Kovarik said will make a safer intersection.
He declined to give more details on the plans for the buildings.