Growth, economic prosperity and an excellent quality of life remain top of mind for Richland city leaders. We have a lot of exciting opportunities to achieve even more for the city, and our momentum continues to build. Our focus remains on providing a range of services, amenities and experiences for residents, businesses and visitors in our community. From new infrastructure, stellar public safety services and innovative development, we have great expectations for the coming year.
Economic development, redevelopment
We remain diligent working with our partner agencies to implement the regional community branding effort finalized in 2015. This brand provides a consistent identity, messaging and attitude to guide us when promoting our community and all it has to offer. A focus on family, prosperity and making sure we are heard (bigger, better, bolder, brighter) is the key. As we look at new development, we are committed to incorporating the positive message and maintaining the energy that supports the brand’s vision.
We continue to look for opportunities for new businesses to find a home in Richland. Attracting employers who provide stable, family wage jobs is imperative as we continue to diversify the industries we can support.
Richland has thousands of acres of impressive property for industrial development. The Horn Rapids Industrial Property, Columbia Point, Tapteal Drive and the recently acquired 1,600 acres of DOE land, continue to develop and attract new tenants. With the addition of new roads and infrastructure, access to rail amenities, affordable power and close proximity to the interstate, our area continues to remain competitive with the traffic-bogged Interstate 5 corridor.
We are resuming efforts toward waterfront property development. Our waterfront is a unique asset in our community, and we have not yet capitalized on its full potential. From Columbia Point South, northwest to Columbia Playfield, there is an incredible opportunity to implement a cohesive downtown atmosphere.
Our goals are to improve access, create more diverse recreational opportunities, increase tourism activities and incorporate aesthetic upgrades to the area. This may include a public market and infrastructure improvements that would benefit the community year-round. We are looking forward to this plan providing an outline of how Richland’s waterfront and downtown area will connect and maintain a vibrant, family friendly and revenue-generating core for business.
Residents are looking forward to the grand opening of the Hapo Community Stage at John Dam Plaza. The long-awaited outdoor theater will provide an array of performance opportunities for our citizens dedicated to the arts. Members of the Arts Commission provided expertise on acoustics, sound, lighting and layout. This state-of-the-art facility will add family friendly activities for our residents while promoting tourism from neighboring communities.
Preparations remain for the Duportail Bridge. Action by the 2015 Washington Legislature secured the first significant contribution, $20 million, toward project construction. While we have a plan in place for raising the remaining funds, we anticipate preparing to construct the bridge beginning in late 2017 with estimated completion in 2019. This much-needed infrastructure will improve traffic congestion, increase vehicle capacity, provide pedestrian and bicycle access and mitigate emergency response challenges. As south Richland continues to grow and expand, the bridge will also provide another connection to north Richland and the downtown corridor.
We are proud to serve the citizens of Richland and invite others to see what we have to offer.
Visit our website at www.ci.richland.wa.us to find out more about our strategic goals and initiatives.