PASCO -- Freezing temperatures this winter have delayed construction on the newest Tri-City Sun Mart in Pasco near the Tri-Cities Airport.
The store and gas station will be Sun Pacific Energy's 34th outlet in the Mid-Columbia, said Craig Eerkes, owner of Sun Pacific Energy in Kennewick.
And at 5,600 square feet, it will be the largest.
The station will include a convenience store and gas station, car wash, Brulant gourmet coffee bar and a Blimpie sandwich shop.
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The land is owned by the Port of Pasco, which will lease it to Sun Pacific for $3,100 a month.
Weather permitting, it should open in mid-February, Eerkes said.
"We couldn't pave in the cold weather," he said. "Once the paving is done the canopy and gas dispensers can go in."
Eerkes expects the new store will employ about 25 people.
And he said it will serve customers from Columbia Basin College, people staying at the two nearby hotels, businesses on 20th Avenue and those living around Sun Willows Golf Course and in Desert Plateau.
In addition, he said port officials told him 400 people work in and around the Tri-Cities Airport, including Transportation Security Administration workers, airlines employees and those working west side of the main airport, where Bergstrom Aircraft and Tri-Cities Aviation are based.
Sun Pacific owns all the Sun Marts in the Mid-Columbia, as well as car washes and three Brulant coffee bars.
The company also holds franchises for Subway and Blimpie outlets.