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Richland ‘pit’ makeover stalls, again

An unnoticed easement at 650 George Washington Way means construction of Park Place apartments at Richland’s entrance will be delayed by several months.
An unnoticed easement at 650 George Washington Way means construction of Park Place apartments at Richland’s entrance will be delayed by several months. Tri-City Herald

The long-delayed redevelopment of Richland’s 650 George Washington Way has been delayed again, this time by a previously-unnoticed easement on the east side of the city-owned property.

The discovery of the easement, created some 70 years ago by the Atomic Energy Commission, snarled a financing deal between the develpment team, led by The Crown Group.

The delay forced the city and the developers to pull the plug on a planned ground breaking that had been set for Dec. 14.

The Army Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla is working to remove the easement, a process that could take several months.

The city selected Crown Group to develop the gateway project. It plans to build Park Place, a 106-unit apartment building with underground parking and several retail buildings. It will close a deal to buy the site from the city once it secures financing backed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

650 Gway
An unnoticed easement at 650 George Washington Way means construction of Park Place apartments at Richland’s entrance will be delayed by several months. Rendering by TVA Architects

“We’re terribly disappointed for the delay, but this is going to be such a great project that it will be well worth the effort,” said Mark Lambert, president of The Crown Group. The Chicago-based developer is partnering with Richland’s Boost Builds for the project.

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Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.

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