Business

Richland company gets contract for building at Osprey Pointe

PASCO -- Richland's Fowler Construction has been awarded a contract to construct the first building at the Port of Pasco's proposed riverfront business park, Osprey Pointe, near Oregon and Ainsworth avenues.

The $5 million job also includes site preparation, utility installation and creation of a 5-acre landscaped public gathering place with lighted walking paths to the Columbia River shoreline, said Randy Hayden, director of planning and engineering at the port.

The project attracted contractors from Seattle, Portland, Spokane and the Tri-Cities. Fowler's bid was the lowest among the 10 bids the port got, Hayden said. The highest bid was more than $6 million, he said.

It's the first nonwarehouse-type building the port will develop in hopes of attracting new tenants and private capital for future growth, he said.

The port is using $4.2 million from an insurance settlement to pay for the 20,000-square-foot, two-story building. The 11-month projects starts at the end of the month.

The port administration will occupy about 8,500 square feet on the second floor. "The first floor will be left as shell space for future," Hayden said.

The port hopes the business park, with its unique business setting near the river and close proximity to warehouses, manufacturing space, good transportation access and recreational opportunities at nearby Sacajawea State Park, will help generate $90 million in investments and provide 1,700 jobs over the next two decades.

Hayden said he wants to clarify that the port is not constructing a new building for itself. The port decided to go ahead with the project because of a stipulation to use the insurance money within two years. The port was compensated for a warehouse fire on East Dock Street that occurred in February 2008. "It's also a favorable bid climate."

The building will help attract private developers to the business park, and to set the design standards for the business park, he said. "We would like the development to have a cohesive feel to it."

-- Pratik Joshi: 582-1541; pjoshi@tricityherald.com; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com

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