The Nineteen to arrive in downtown Kennewick in ’21

Investors moving forward with plans to break ground on multimillion dollar project in about six months

Luxury apartments are coming to downtown Kennewick as part of a lofty new plan to add a five-story mixed-use building to the corner of West Canal Drive and North Auburn Street.

Built from the ground up, the project, called The Nineteen as a nod to its physical address at 19 W. Canal Drive, will feature a brick-front building with about 60,000 square feet of space.

The top three floors will be home to 28 high-end apartments, with rent amounts yet to be determined.

“Wherever the cost comes out, comes out. We don’t have investors to answer to. We’ll back-calculate what we need to charge, and I think the market can support some luxury apartments,” said Andrew Klein, one of the developers behind the project.

He expects to spend between $150 per square foot to $250 per square foot, resulting in a project valued at $9 million to $15 million when finished.

The Nineteen will have 10 units each on the third and fourth floors and eight units on the top floor, where there also will be space allotted for a common area with a hot tub, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, steam room and gathering space. The 10 different floor plans feature either one or two bedrooms and all have a minimum of 1 1/2 baths, with at least two designs that are wheelchair accessible.

The finished building will feature a footprint of about 12,000 square feet, sprouting up on land that began with the $325,000 purchase of a building that sits on about a third of an acre at 20 N. Auburn St. last year.

Since then, Klein and fellow investor Brian Griffith have been focused on design work. They expect to break ground in May 2020 on a building where the finishing touches will stand out.

“We’re not putting in portable terminal air conditioner units with an air conditioning system under a window, which is loud and shakes. We’re putting ducted systems in. There will be 11-foot ceilings, likely coffered, but we haven’t gotten there yet. Plus solid countertops whether it be quartz, or another material,” Klein said.

The apartments are designed with open floor plans for ease of entertaining and also will include real wood flooring and air bathtubs, a popular alternative to jetted tubs.

Klein and Griffith chose to replace the current building entirely as there was “nothing salvageable” in the spaces once home to Leo’s Catering, RiverSands Distillery and Blue Moon Restaurant, which had addresses on West Canal Drive and North Auburn Street.

There will be commercial space available in The Nineteen, including 11,000 square feet on the first floor the developers hope will be filled by a single tenant.

An additional 9,500 square feet on the second floor is likely to be office space, but also could be restaurant or retail space.

Kennewick tech startup BlockChyp signed a letter of intent to fill about half of the space on the second floor.

“They like that it’s new construction and we’ll be tying into the fiber optic line that runs down Canal, so they’ll have high-speed internet,” Klein said.

The combination of high-end apartments and commercial and office space is proving a popular concept in the Tri-Cities. Park Place is under construction at 650 George Washington in Richland by Boost Builds. The project includes plans for 106 apartments and 6,700 square feet of retail space.

Klein expects the Kennewick project to attract “younger folks moving from larger cities, looking for a walkable downtown as the downtown of Kennewick builds up and more businesses come in, and it connects itself with the Vista Field development. That’s going to be phenomenal, too.”

Architect George Watson of Watson & Herres out of the Spokane Valley is the designer and a general contractor has not yet been signed.

The springtime groundbreaking is dependent on interest in commercial spaces, though Klein thinks the area is ready for a project such as this.

“It would push the limits of downtown, but we think the market will support it for brand-new, quality construction. We want to do something nice and see if we’ll be supported,” Klein said. Once it begins, construction is expected to take a year.

To be placed on a list for possible residence availability or for built-to-suit tenant space, visit the-nineteen.com.

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