The third time may be the charm for the Columbia Center Boulevard liquor store.
The Kennewick store is among six being auctioned off for the third time by the state after the winning bidders failed to pay up.
The state is auctioning off the right to apply for a license to operate a liquor store in a space under 10,000 square feet.
It is part of the state's efforts to get out of the business of selling liquor, as required by Initiative 1183.
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The state already has received almost $30 million from bidders for 161 former state liquor stores.
"This has been a highly successful auction process," Pat McLaughlin, the agency's business enterprise director, said in a news release. "We have already collected nearly $29.8 million in bids plus about one million more in fees."
Bids in the online auction that ended April 20, and live auction May 24 have exceeded $31 million.
The Columbia Center Boulevard store went for $290,000 during the May live auction.
The two winning bidders for the Columbia Center Boulevard liquor store forfeited their bid deposit and did not receive the right to operate a store in a space smaller than what the initiative allows.
That means the previous winners forfeited their bid deposit of $10,000, said Mikhail Carpenter, Liquor Control Board spokesman. The bid deposit has been raised to $25,000 for the Thursday live auction.
The new owner would have access to the same accelerated spirits retailer licensing process as the other bid winners did, Carpenter said.
They also would have to negotiate a lease for the space.
The Columbia Center Boulevard store is the only one on the sale list in Eastern Washington.
The auction is at 9 a.m. June 28 at the Washington state Liquor Control Board Distribution Center at 4401 E. Marginal Way in Seattle.
The Columbia Center Boulevard store currently is closed.
The state had to shut down about 300 stores in a three-day period, Carpenter said.
"It went really smooth for something that was incredibly complex," he said.
So far, the West Richland Liquor Store and the Prosser Liquor Store, both former contract stores, are the only existing Tri-City liquor stores to receive the spirits retail license.
The new owners of the rights to the Pasco stores on Court Street and Road 68, the Richland store on George Washington Way and the Kennewick Avenue store have applied for the new license, but have not received it yet, according to the state.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org