New Office, Retail Facility Planned for Clover Island, Wash.

Port of Kennewick commissioners sealed a deal Tuesday to build a two-story port office and retail building on Clover Island, complete with parking and a rivershore boardwalk.

In a long-awaited step toward the port's plans to redevelop the island, commissioners approved a $2,275,000 bid from Sunnyside-based Mountain States Construction Co. to build the 8,500-square-foot building across Clover Island Drive from Cedars restaurant.

Construction should start next month and be finished by March or April next year, said Tim Arntzen, port executive director. The port plans to move its offices into the building's second floor and rent the ground floor to retail or commercial tenants.

Mountain States' low bid was quite a bit higher than the $1.5 million the port originally had estimated the two-story building would cost when it approved the plan last summer.

That's because the new contract includes features not part of the original estimate, including about $275,000 for a parking lot and about $600,000 for a boardwalk between the building and the island's south shore, Arntzen said.

The port included those features to emphasize its concept for the island's redevelopment -- a multimillion-dollar plan to build walkways and add landscaping features along the island's shore to entice upscale commercial and residential development.

"We look at this as the flagship at the island," Arntzen said. Adding the parking and boardwalk to the new building brings Mountain States' cost estimate in line with the port's previous cost estimates, he said.

Once the building is open, the port will offer the approximately 3,000 square feet on the ground floor to tenants that fit in with the port's vision of marine-related businesses to serve the Clover Island Marina and Clover Island Yacht Club, Arntzen said.

"We want something that benefits the marine character of the island," he said.