Port of Kennewick, Wash., Generates Numerous Commercial Projects

Perhaps the port's new slogan should be: "We're open for business." In 2006, the port completed nine land sales, generating more than 500 non-Hanford jobs. If 2006 was the most productive year in the port's 91-year history, 2007 won't be far behind. Some of the port's successes are:

San Juan Pools

San Juan Pools recently purchased 24 acres of port land in east Kennewick. San Juan plans to build a 10,000-square-foot manufacturing plant for fiberglass in-ground swimming pools. Approximately 100 new, non-Hanford manufacturing jobs will be created.

San Juan Pools originated in Seattle in 1958 and was the first company to use techniques adapted from boat hull construction. Since 1958, San Juan has grown into the nation's largest fiberglass pool manufacturer with facilities in Indiana, Florida, Arizona and now Kennewick. San Juan markets through a network of 500 independent dealers in the U.S. and Canada.

Red Mountain Wine Estates

Andy and Bill Den Hoed, owners of Red Mountain Wine Estates, will build three large wineries over seven years on 12 acres it leases from the port in West Richland. The brothers, partnering with California wine expert Randall Grahm, will produce Riesling and have the vision of becoming the largest Riesling producer in North America. The Den Hoeds will supply grapes from their vineyards in the Yakima Valley and the Horse Heaven Hills.

The first facility, to be constructed by Mountain States Construction, will produce 300,000 cases annually. This will be West Richland's first industrial development. City staff and council were instrumental in making the land available for development in time for the 2007 crush.

Ice Harbor Brewing Co.

Ice Harbor Brewing leased the lower floor of the new port office/retail building on Clover Island. The company will operate a brew pub offering food, beverages and ice, while keeping its pub in downtown Kennewick. Its tenancy meets the goals of the Clover Island Master Plan by encouraging public use of the island, supporting further island development and serving marina tenants. "We are very excited to be the first business chosen as the cornerstone for the port's Clover Island Master Plan," says co-owner Bill Jaquish. The pub plans to be open by June.

Southridge Village

Southridge Village LLC & Miranda Development have partnered on a 230-acre development in south Kennewick along Highway 395. In 2006, the port sold 150 acres to Southridge Village. Initial construction, set to start by June, will consist of a bank, a restaurant, a hotel and an urgent care medical complex. The overall project will be completed in 10 years and will represent more than $300 million in private investment.

According to port President Gene Wagner, "This will be the largest commercial development in the area since Columbia Center mall."

Spaulding Business Park

Things are also going well in the Spaulding Business Park in the Richland Y. The Walker-Heye Building is complete and open for business, the New Edge Technology building is framed-in and almost complete, and a third developer will soon be breaking ground on a three-building medical complex.

The park still has some land available and is developing into a high-end office/medical/professional center.

Summary of 2006 accomplishments

w Nine land sales, generating more than 500 jobs.

w Built port office/retail building, parking lot and boardwalk on Clover Island.

w Rebuilt Clover Island Drive, including all utilities.

w Began marina construction.

w Traded land with Kennewick General Hospital, facilitating the Southridge development and potential KGH expansion.

w Purchased homestead and dedicated right of way to Benton County for Highway 397.

w Completed Vista Field runway resurfacing.

w Reached 100 percent occupancy in port buildings.

Tim Arntzen is Executive director of the Port of Kennewick