A proposed $2.5 million restaurant development at Columbia Point moved closer to fruition this week after the Richland City Council agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with Florentyna's.
Florentyna's, which operates an Italian eatery and the 3 Eyed Fish wine bar at Tri-Cities Regional Airport in Pasco, as well as a second 3 Eyed Fish wine bar on Keene Road in Richland, responded to the city's request for proposals in June.
Negotiations could take two to three months to complete. If an agreement is reached, Florentyna's owner Cindy Goulet said the restaurant could be built in 12 to 15 months.
Florentyna's is proposing to build and run Lulu's Columbia Point, which would sit between Anthony's and Columbia Point Marina Park. Terrence L. Thornhill would be the architect and DGR Grant Construction would be the general contractor.
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A second phase of the development that would include commercial space and residential condo units would follow the restaurant's construction.
"We actually only got the one (proposal)," Deputy City Manager Bill King said. "We had expressions of interest from several different groups, but one is all you need if it's the right proposal."
The project is expected to generate about $3 million for the city of Richland over the next 10 years through property taxes, sales taxes and rent. It also is expected to create 120 jobs with a combined payroll of $15 million during the same time frame.
Conceptual renderings presented to the Richland City Council on Wednesday showed a modern building with a brick and metal facade topped by a bowed roof with sweeping awnings. The restaurant's proposed floor plan is 7,656 square feet and includes seating for more than 100 inside as well additional seating outside.
The project also includes mixed use commercial and residential units to be built near the proposed restaurant. Goulet said about 10,000 square feet of commercial space should be built along with five 2,000-square-foot condo units on the second story.
The entire project could take five years to complete.
Goulet expects Florentyna's to cease its airport operations next summer. In May, Port of Pasco commissioners unanimously accepted a proposal from Tailwind, a North Carolina company, to operate concessions at the airport.
Goulet said the Columbia Point project "turned out to be a great idea and a much better fit for what I'm looking for."
Lulu's menu should be constructed around a farm-to-table concept that would utilize local ingredients. Goulet said she wants Lulu's to "be fresh and have a small-town, hip feel".
-- Drew Foster: 509-582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org