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Where should the Tri-Cities Public Market go?

Take an online survey to help the Tri-Cities Public Market Foundation choose a site in Pasco.
Take an online survey to help the Tri-Cities Public Market Foundation choose a site in Pasco. Tri-City Herald

The Tri-Cities Public Market Foundation is zeroing in on a site in Pasco, but it needs the public's feedback first.

Tri-Citians are asked to give their thoughts on a regional public market through an online survey.

The questions takes about five minutes and will remain online until July 8 at tricitiespublicmarket.com. It's offered in both English and Spanish.

The survey asks would-be patrons to share their food-related interests and thoughts on visiting a full-time public market at the two candidates, the Pasco Farmers Market spot in downtown or a riverfront industrial site the Port of Pasco owns just east of the cable bridge, on the Columbia River.

Answers will help suss out which of the sites offers the better chance for success.

The short survey is open to all and will help feasibility study by Ted Spitzer of Market Ventures. The Portland, Maine-based consultant was hired to study the Pasco proposal and has worked with Seattle's Pike Place Market.

It is expected to deliver its findings and recommendations in the fall.

Neither site has an advantage at this point. Both make a compelling case.

The downtown site dovetails with the existing farmers market and a lively local business scene. The riverside could be a scenic spot and is far larger, offering potential for additional development and expansion.

The public market foundation pivoted to Pasco in 2016 after Richland city officials rejected its vision of a market-anchored mixed use development at the city's entrance.

Despite widespread support from Richland residents, city leaders held out for an apartment-and-retail vision at 650 George Washington Way.

The development team expects to break ground this fall once it closed a loan with federal department of Housing and Urban Development.

Pasco leaders jumped at the opportunity to bring the market to their community.

The Port of Pasco and city of Pasco agreed to split the $40,000 cost of the feasibility study, saying it makes sense to contemplate a market modeled on Seattle's Pike Place Market or Wenatchee's Pybus Public Market in a community centered on agriculture.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514
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