Real Estate & Construction Briefs – April 2021

Gov. Inslee extends eviction moratorium

Gov. Jay Inslee extended the state’s moratorium prohibiting evictions through June 30 due to the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The moratorium, which does not cover those who are not named on leases, protects approximately 76,000 Washington tenants who are unable to pay rent because of financial challenges related to the pandemic.

The declaration notes that in December, nearly 275,000 new and continuing claims for unemployment compensation were filed.

Chipotle leases space at Southridge

Chipotle Mexican Grill has leased a 2335-square-foot space at 3631 Plaza Way in Kennewick’s Southridge District in a development by Hogback Development Co.

The location is west of the existing Taco Bell, near the newly opened Comfort Suites Kennewick at Southridge.

Chad Carper of Kiemle Hagood represented the developer n the transaction. The opening date is to be determined.

Peanuts Park, Pasco Farmers Market kicks off renovations

The city of Pasco held a groundbreaking March 19 for the Peanuts Park and Pasco Farmers Market renovation project.

Some of the new features will be adding new hardscape amenities, landscaping, public art, permanent food truck connection points and a new canopy to the farmers market area.

Partners on the project include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the 16th Washington State Legislative Delegation, as well as former state Sen. Maureen Walsh and state Rep. Bill Jenkin for their efforts in securing funding for this project.

 Zintel Creek Golf Club adds event space

Zintel Creek Golf Club in Kennewick has remodeled 3,000 square feet of the club’s downstairs area as event space for meetings and banquets.

The newly remodeled 19th Hole Event Center has capacity for 130 people, as does the dining room. Smaller rooms also are available for rent.

The Zintel Golf Club Restaurant reopened March 26 and is open to the public along with the golf simulator.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and the golf course is open at noon Mondays  and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday.

Zintel Creek Golf Club is at 314 N. Underwood St.

Shade Café opens by Richland clinic

Shade Café has opened next to DermaCare TriCities at 1299 Fowler St. in Richland.

The café is owned and operated by Rosa Smith and her son, Sidney Smith.

The café serves up gourmet Caffe D’Arte coffee, soups, sandwiches and fresh pastries as well as soda.

Shade Café offers driveup as well as walk-in service and has a seating area that will feature work by local artists.

Hours are 5:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. weekdays.

Follow on Instagram at tri.shadecafe.

U.S. Bank closes Kennewick branch

U.S. Bank permanently closed its downtown Kennewick branch in November following a temporary close earlier due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The building at 303 First Ave. is available for lease although U.S. Bank continues to operate a drive-thru ATM in the parking lot.

The branch was scheduled for closure in early 2019. A spokeswoman said customers were notified of the permanent closure in October.

The nearest branch is at Clearwater and Edison in Kennewick.

Aplets & Cotlets maker closing after 101 years

Liberty Orchards Co., the Cashmere-based maker of Aplets & Cotlets candies, announced it will close operations by June after 101 years of business.

The Eastern Washington company said it would continue to seek a buyer for its assets, including its brands, production equipment, factory and warehouses. The company did not cite a reason but noted it continued to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic under strict pandemic controls.

Two Armenian immigrants established Liberty after they bought an apple orchard and used surplus fruit to create Aplets by mixing them with walnuts. Cotlets, made with apricots, arrived a few years later. The company was operated by three generations of the family, according to a company history.

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SBA increases Covid-19 lending limit

The U.S. Small Business Administration raised the maximum amount small businesses and nonprofit organizations can borrow through its Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

The loan limit is raised to up to 24 months of injury with a maximum loan of $500,000. 

Businesses that receive a loan under the old limits do not need to request an increase. SBA will reach out directly to provide information about how they can request the higher amount.

Call 800-659-2955 or email for information.

Heartlinks to open second thrift store in Zillah

Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care recently announced plans to open a second thrift store in Zillah for their charity thrift store, Hobs Hospice Benefit Shop, at the end of April.

The second location will be at 907 Vintage Valley Parkway. Hobs Hospice Benefit Shop sells gently used items in support of hospice care in the community.

Heartlinks has been eager about the possibility of opening another store for a long time, but credits its ability to open a second location to success in Prosser and the entire Prosser-location staff, predominantly volunteers. More than 45 volunteers help sort, clean, organize, stock and sell the store’s inventory.

Hobs was founded in 1998 by Prosser resident, Jan Nilsson, in conjunction with 12 volunteers, in memory of her mother-in-law, Anne O. Witcraft.

Hobs in Zillah will open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Friday. To learn more, call 509-837-1676. Volunteers are needed for the Zillah store.

Lamb Weston releases earnings, sustainability commitment and plant news

Lamb Weston, the frozen french fry giant, reported net sales declined 4% in its third fiscal quarter earnings statement, released April 7.

The company reported $66 million in net income, down 41% as Covid-19 pandemic issues led to significant disruptions in manufacturing and distribution operations.

“(W)e remain optimistic that overall demand in the U.S. will steadily return to pre-pandemic levels around the end of calendar 2021,” said Tom Werner, president and chief executive officer, in an earnings release.

In other news, the company said it began using packaging based on corn and potato starch for two of its Alexia brand products in April – Alexia’s Organic Sweet Potato Fries and Alexia’s Organic Yukon Select Puffs. 

It also confirmed it will invest
$250 million to build a new french fry processing facility in Inner Mongolia, China. The plant will produce 250 million pounds of potato products per year and will employ 280.

Lamb Weston, based in Eagle, Idaho, with major Tri-City operations, said its net sales for the fiscal year  were down 10% compared to the prior year.

SBA offering grants to support closed venues

The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened a web portal where owners of venues that closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant was funded with $16 billion from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The program was conceived as a lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theaters and other venues.

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