A lot of talk goes on around the Tri-Cities about waterfront development and what should be done to enhance our rivershores.
Richland has seen commercial development between Columbia Point and Howard Amon Park.
Businessman Tim Bush recently announced plans start construction on a $3.4 million addition to River Walk Village that will include a new restaurant and office space.
But for all the talk and wish lists concerning the miles of riverfront property in the Tri-Cities, a lot remains undone.
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It's a different story on Clover Island, where a once barren landscape continues to evolve into what we expect will be a destination for tourists and locals alike.
With new buildings for the Port of Kennewick and the Clover Island Yacht Club in recent years, and the addition of sidewalks and landscaping, the island has already come a long way.
Now it's getting a lighthouse, which is expected to be completed in February.
While it's intended to be welcoming landmark for visitors driving onto the island, this lighthouse is not just for show. It will serve as a functioning lighthouse, helping boats navigate the waters.
The lighthouse is also a bit of a history maker, the first of its kind constructed in the United States since 1962. The concrete structure will be 62 feet tall when complete, with a viewing platform near the top.
The lighthouse project will also include a public plaza, gateway and sidewalks, for a price tag of $1.2 million.
We've heard the giggles and groans. We know that ships running aground on the manmade island hasn't been a huge problem.
But it will take vision and imagination to turn what's essentially a pile of rocks into a riverfront attraction. We're confident it's a gamble that will pay off.
The Port of Kennewick has big plans for Clover Island and its environs. The port has purchased a significant amount of the property from Washington Street to the cable bridge with an eye on future development.
Although it's hard to envision from the current mix of trailer parks, older homes and businesses, this area could someday become a development to rival Columbia Point. Condos, retail businesses and walking paths are all part of the long-term vision.
Downtown Kennewick and the Bridge-to-Bridge corridor are long overdue for a facelift. With great public access, a long stretch of waterfront and a historic downtown, the elements are all in place for something spectacular.
Recently, residents, business owners and stakeholders were asked to participate in development of a long-term vision for the area.
Not that many chose to participate, though they were given ample opportunity. To those who did, we appreciate their desire to be a part of the process.
Big things lie ahead for this area, and the Port of Kennewick isn't waiting around for someone else to make the first move. By crafting Clover Island into a destination for diners and sight-seers, the first step has been made. We can't wait to see what comes next.