Real Estate & Construction Briefs – September 2021

DGR Grant to cocoon K East Reactor

DGR Grant Construction Inc. of Richland has secured a $9.5 million contract to build a cocoon-type structure over the K East Reactor at the Hanford site.

The enclosure over the reactor will provide interim safe storage and protects the building while radioactivity in the reactor core decays over the coming decades, after which the reactor will be dismantled.

Central Plateau Cleanup Co., a U.S. Department of Energy contractor, awarded the contract in August.

“Awarding this contract is a major step toward completion of work in Hanford’s K Reactor Area,” said Bob Krebs, CPCCo project manager.

DGR is expected to begin work in September on the foundation for the storage enclosure. A steel structure will be installed in early 2022 and the project should be complete in 2023.

K East Reactor operated from 1955 to 1971. It is the seventh of Hanford’s nine former reactors to be placed in interim safe storage. K West Reactor will be the ninth.

B Reactor is preserved as a visitor facility and is part of the National Park Service’s Manhattan Project National Historical Park.


Parade of Homes tickets on sale for Sept. 17-19 tours

Tickets are now on sale for the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities’ popular Parade of Homes event.

The Parade will look different this year because of pandemic-induced sup­ply chain disruptions. It will feature two homes for in-person touring Sept. 17-19. 

Addi­tional homes can be toured online at paradeofhomestricities.com starting Sept. 20.   

The two builders participating in this year’s Parade are Prodigy Homes and Pahlisch Homes Inc.

“The resilience and ingenuity these builders have displayed while preparing their homes to be showcased in a year full of permit delays, supply chain disruptions and overall uncertainty is truly impressive. Now, they are thrilled to share these incredible homes with you,” HBA Tri-Cities posted on its Facebook page.

Parade of Homes tickets are on sale for $10 at area Circle K stores. Purchase includes entry to the two homes on Sept. 17-19, a full color 56-page glossy magazine and admission to the Fall Home Show, set for Oct. 1-3 at the HAPO Center in Pasco.


Graze buys central Kennewick building

Graze LLC, the Walla Walla-based operator of the Graze A Place to Eat sandwich and salad shops, has bought the former China Café building at 131 N. Ely St. in Kennewick.

The 2,135-square-foot building, constructed in 1975, will be remodeled, although owner John Lastoskie said it was too early to discuss the plans.

Graze operates local stores at 8530 W. Gage Blvd., near Columbia Center in Kennewick, and at 610 George Washington Way in Richland’s new Park Place apartment-and-retail development.

Benton County property records indicate Graze LLC paid $1.23 million for the property in a deal that recorded July 27.


Physicians Immediate Care is now Nova Health

Nova Health, which operates primary and urgent care services in the western U.S., has acquired Richland’s Physicians Immediate Care & Medical Centers, or PICMC.

The acquisition expands Nova’s growing footprint for urgent and primary care services into its fifth state of operations, consistent with its strategy to reach more markets in the Western United States, said Nova Health Chief Executive Officer Jim Ashby in a statement.

“We expect that the combined company will be even stronger, enhancing access and quality care for patient in the Tri-Cities area,” he said.

Nova Health has urgent care offices at 310 Torbett St. and 550 Gage Blvd., and a primary care office at 1516 Jadwin Ave., all in Richland.

“Nova Health has demonstrated its dedication to quality health care and optimized operations, their reputation as a powerful healthcare network is well-earned. We want to assure patients of PICMC that they will continue to see the same staff and receive the same great care, while enjoying the benefits of a large, interconnected healthcare organization,” said Dr. Douglas Crawford, owner of Physicians Immediate Care and Medical Centers, in a news release.


Sola Salon Studios to open at Columbia Center

Sola Salon Studios plans to open its first Tri-City location in November at Columbia Center mall, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 205A, in Kennewick. It’s scheduled for completion in November 2021,

The 6,200-square-foot salon includes space for 33 private studios in three sizes. It’ll be located inside the mall near JCPenney.

Features of the new studios include private one-on-one spaces with storage, oversized sliding/locking doors, floor-to-ceiling walls for privacy, all utilities, Wi-Fi and full-spectrum lighting.

“We’re so proud to bring Sola Salon Studios to the Tri-Cities, and to offer local hairstylists, estheticians, nail technicians, massage therapists and makeup artists a beautiful, safe space to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Melissa Bertsch, co-owner of Sola Salon Studios in the Tri-Cities.

Sola stylists can customize their own fully-equipped studio and set their own hours. In addition, they set their own pricing and receive full commission on retail products.

Sola has more than 545 locations in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, offering more than 16,000 independent beauty professionals the freedom and benefits of salon ownership. Go to solasalonstudios.com.


Costa Vida opens pandemic-delayed Pasco location

Costa Vida opened its latest Tri-City restaurant Aug. 16 in Pasco.

The new fresh Mexican outlet is at 6627 Burden Blvd., Suite A.

Russ Cazier is the franchisee for Costa Vida restaurants in the region, along with a string of Subway locations. He leased the Pasco spot, which is next to Proof Kitchen and The Sushi House, in early 2020 but wasn’t able to open it because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2,912-square-foot space includes a commercial kitchen and dining area as well as restrooms.

Mike Corbin of Wave Design Group was the project architect and W McKay Construction LLC was the contractor.


Incyte Diagnostics opens new patient collections lab

 Incyte Diagnostics has opened a new patient collections lab to handle blood draws, urine collection and Covid-19 testing at 221 Wellsian Way in Richland.

Appointments are not needed but patients must have lab orders from their health care provider.

Founded in 1957 by a group of pathologists, Incyte Diagnostics provides pathology services across the Northwest with labs in Richland, Bellevue and Spokane Valley. 

Go to incytediagnostics.com.


North Franklin Visitor Center dedicated

A new visitor center serving north Franklin County was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 23.

The North Franklin Visitor Center, 661 S. Columbia Ave., is a joint venture of the city of Connell, the Connell Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Pasco.

The small center welcomes visitors to town and serves as a rest break for travelers on Highway 395.

The building was previously a physician’s office. It is owned by the city and was rehabilitated by the port to include a lobby, conference room, public restrooms, an office for the chamber and an outdoor deck. The Port of Pasco commission will hold meetings at the Connell location as well.


Lourdes Crisis Services moves to Richland

Lourdes Health Crisis Services has moved to the Lourdes Counseling Center, 1175 Carondelet Drive, Richland.

The move consolidates behavioral health services in a single location.

“We feel that we can best and better serve the needs of our community by having all of our services in one convenient location” said Gordon Cable, director of behavioral health and related services for Lourdes Health.

Crisis services offers round-the-clock behavioral health care for patients experiencing mental health as well as substance abuse crises.

Call 509-783-0500 or 800-783-0544.


EB-5 lapse puts jobs, investment at risk

Invest in the USA, a Washington, D.C., group that promotes EB-5 immigrant investment in capital projects, is pushing Congress to reauthorize the program, which expired on June 30.

Failing to do so could put $15.2 billion in capital investment and more than 485,000 American jobs at risk, it said.

EB-5, for Employment Benefit Five, allows immigrant investors to secure green cards in exchange for investing in capital projects that create American jobs. Locally, it has been used to fund several projects, most notably The Lodge Hotel at Richland’s Columbia Point.

It was first piloted in 1992 and lapsed at the end of June after several short-term extensions.

The lapse affects the immigration status of nearly 32,600 current investors and their families who have immigration petitions, causing concern that they could withdraw funds from current projects.


New Covid-19 real estate guidance in place for brokers, firms

Brokers, clients and industry partners – such as appraisers, inspectors, photographers, etc. – must wear masks for listing appointments, showings, inspections, walk-throughs, open houses and other indoor interactions, according to Washington Realtors.

The new guidance comes as the state reinstated mask requirement for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor settings, effective Aug. 23.

Real estate firms must require masks at their offices for all individuals, consumers and brokers, regardless of vaccination status, the state association said.

In addition, brokers and their clients must adhere to any additional requirements or restrictions imposed by the seller of a property, including required appointments, capacity limitations or other instructions. Listing brokers should detail any requirements in the listing and post signs at the property regarding any specific instructions, the group advised.


Friends group needs $330K for Little Badger Preserve

Friends of Badger Mountain reports it still needs to raise $330,000 to buy the final 21 acres it needs to establish the Little Badger Mountain Preserve and Trail, which will be the third in its string of hiking trails in the Tri-Cities.

The project includes acquisition of land and construction of a 2.2-mile trail, which traverses challenging terrain in some stretches.

The trail will rise from Queensgate Drive to the summit of Little Badger Mountain, toward a pair of water tanks.

Those who give $1,000 or more will have their name etched in stone on the trail, which will join the Badger Mountain and Candy Mountain trails.

Go to donatenow.networkforgood.org/friendsofbadgermountain.


World Trade Center reopened. Starbucks didn’t. Lawsuit ensues

When New York state allowed malls to reopen with limited occupancy in September 2020, a prominent Starbucks store remained dark.

Now the Seattle-based coffee giant is being sued for $5.2 million in back rent and future rent as its landlord alleges it violated its lease for its Westfield World Trade Center store in New York.

Unibail Rodamco Westfield filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, reports Chain Store Age, which tracks the retail industry.

Last spring, the Seattle Times reported that Starbucks demanded landlords lower its rent for the coming year because of the Covid-19 crisis.

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