Tri-Cities Public Market advocates say they plan to press ahead with the project, either at the “pit” at 650 George Washington Way in Richland or at another site.
Adam Brault, a Richland businessman working with Crown Group on a vision for the market-anchored development, said late Friday afternoon that Crown is considering its options.
The move comes a week after the city of Richland said it’s not interested in amending an existing development agreement with Crown to include a public market, which enjoys popular support.
Brault and his team have been talking with the city this week, including a three-hour meeting with city staff on Tuesday, he said.
“We hope to be able to share more information about those discussions in the future,” Brault said.
Our team is in this for the long haul.
Richland businessman Adam Brault
In March, the team unsuccessfully lobbied the Richland City Council to amend the agreement to include a public market populated by florists, growler fillers, produce vendors and similar businesses. Brault and Crown executives asked the city to commit to the project and contribute $60,000, half the cost to develop a business plan.
Their project also included underground parking, office space and up to 100 apartments. The commercial elements would have been financed through conventional means. Brault and Crown officials said they would privately raise the $16 million needed to ensure the market would open without debt, a move they said was critical to ensuring rents remained reasonable for small businesses.
Last week, Richland said it would “stay the course” on the George Washington site, saying it had concerns about the legality of amending the development agreement and the possibility the development cost would fall to taxpayers.
Brault said the Tri-Cities Public Market will be built.
“Our team is in this for the long haul,” he wrote.
It will launch its new effort at the Tri-Cities Public Market Dream Show from 7 to 11 p.m. May 13 at DrewBoy Creative, 285 Williams Blvd., Richland. The event is billed as a session for architects, designers and artists to develop an artistic vision for the future market.