Kennewick’s next icon rises in the shadow of an old icon (the cable bridge!)

The latest addition to the Port of Kennewick’s waterfront wine village took a giant leap forward this week when workers began fabricating the clock tower.

The tower is the central feature of a 2,568-square-foot building that will be divided and leased to Cave B Estate Winery and Gordon Estate Winery for tasting rooms.

While it promised to bring an iconic structure to East Columbia Drive, architect with Meier Inc. designed it to be functional.

It will hide HVAC equipment to preserve the picturesque setting next to Duffy’s Pond and the cable bridge.

Banlin Construction of Kennewick is the general contractor. It is expected to complete construction by the end of the year.

Cave B Estate Winery and Gordon Estate Winery are expected to open their doors in time for the 2020 spring barrel tasting next April.

They will join Palencia Winery and Bartholomew Winery at the port’s Columbia Gardens Urban Wine and Artisan Village.

The village is an economic development initiative that aims to revive the downtown Kennewick waterfront with pedestrian- and wine-friendly amenities, including food trucks..

The $1.5 million project is being financed with a $900,000 insurance settlement from an empty building that collapsed in heavy snow in January 2017 and from a $200,00 contribution from the city of Kennewick to support additional parking.

The Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund Advisory Committee awarded grants totaling $150,000.

In related news, the Port of Kennewick solved the mystery of the blue snow plow-shaped item sitting in the Columbia Gardens parking lot, next to the road: It’s a future bus shelter awaiting installation.