Kennewick wine village gets $2.1 million boost
Benton County handed out its first check after resurrecting a sales tax-generated economic development program: $2.1 million toward the Port of Kennewick’s urban wine village project on Columbia Drive.
It was a joint award going to the port and city of Kennewick.
The grant will be used for the second phase of the 5.4-acre $13 million Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village development for the parking lot, street work, utilities/storm drains, lights, area for food trucks and waterfront gathering space, and converting the rest of that site into “shovel ready” land for sale or lease.
Grant dollars also will go toward the riverfront development’s third phase, which includes roads, utilities, storm drains, lights to support Columbia Basin College’s future $10 million Culinary Arts Institute and a seven-acre mixed-use commercial development called The Willows.
The wine village project is estimated to create 121 new jobs, according to the port and city’s application.
Palencia Wine Co. of Walla Walla and Bartholomew Winery of Seattle will be the first tenants at Columbia Gardens. They both plan to move their winery headquarters to Kennewick and open tasting rooms facing the river and riverfront walking trail.
The county’s Rural County Capital Fund is over $10 million, fed by a sales tax collected by the county and earmarked for economic development, job creation and tax revenue in the county.
The .09 of 1 percent tax generates about $300,000 in sales tax revenue for Benton County each month. The tax sunsets in 2026.