Washington State University Tri-Cities is gearing up for an announcement regarding a proposed student housing project on its north Richland campus.
University spokesman Jeffrey Dennison told the Herald that news about the project would be released within the next two weeks.
He did not answer questions on what the news would be about, such as the selection of a developer or the next step in considering bids.
The university has worked since 2014 to establish student housing for its campus in an effort to improve student life and culture. An initial proposal for developer RiverWalk LLC to build a three-story building on land near the campus provided by the Port of Benton fell through last fall, when the university walked away from talks.
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A new bid process opened this past winter, and RiverWalk again submitted a bid for the project, along with two unidentified developers. The new plan called for the housing to be built on university property. It’s not clear how large the project is expected to be or how many students it could house.
The university wanted dining space, small study areas and lounge space with cable TV and wireless Internet access among the amenities. Cost to students should be comparable to what other regional universities offer, bid documents said.
A developer was supposed to have been selected by Feb. 26, according to the university’s initial timeline. In March, officials decided to have a committee of staff, students, administrators from the Pullman and Richland campuses, and community members hear presentations from each bidder.
Columbia Basin College is also moving forward on developing student housing near its main campus in Pasco. The city council recently approved selling land on Argent Road to a private entity that will be used by a developer to build the student apartments.
CBC is negotiating with a developer to build and maintain the project. The first group of about 100 apartments are scheduled to be available in fall 2017.