Real Estate & Construction Briefs – December 2021

Popular Kennewick restaurant damaged by fire

Double Dragon, a popular Kennewick restaurant, was damaged by an early morning fire on Dec. 7.

The Kennewick Fire Department said passersby called in the blaze after spotting fire coming from a roof vent at about 3:30 a.m. The fire department noted the 1979-built building, 3107 W. Clearwater Ave., did not have a sprinkler system or a fire detection system.

Firefighters found fire in the kitchen, which they extinguished within 10 minutes, containing the damage.

The cause was under investigation.

The fire department warned that early detection is key and cited Federal Emergency Management Agency statistics showing that nearly 40% of small businesses fail to reopen after a disaster such as a fire and another 25% fail within one year.

New burrito, sub and pizza restaurants coming to Pasco

Plans are underway to build a $1.3 million multi-tenant restaurant building in Pasco at 5326 Road 68, just south of Sandifur Parkway.

Building permits filed by Yakima-based Hogback Development with the city of Pasco indicate the new 6,511-square-foot building will be home to Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jersey Mike’s and MOD Pizza.

Hogback is building the building core and shell only, with interior buildout to be under separate permits.

The contractor for the project is Stephens & Sons Construction of Yakima.

Kennewick launches new permitting system

 The city of Kennewick has launched a new permitting system that allows customers to apply online for commercial, residential and express building permits, among other things.

The platform is easier to navigate, provides more information on application statuses and streamlines the application process, according to the city.

It went live Nov. 15.

The new portal required the shutdown of the previous system, which was more than 20 years old, while data was transferred over.

Current customers must register for a new profile to apply for online permits. 

All applications submitted after Nov. 19 will need to be submitted online or in person. Emailed and faxed applications are no longer being accepted.

To access the new permit portal, go to

Hanford contractor acquired by nuclear waste storage firm

Freestone Environmental Services, a Richland firm that provides services to the Hanford site, has been acquired by Deep Isolation, a Berkeley, California-based company focused on solving the challenge of nuclear waste disposal.

Terms were not disclosed.

Freestone will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary. The company includes a team of 15 scientists and engineers with a variety of clients, most notably the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford site.

“We are pleased to welcome Freestone as a Deep Isolation company,” said Liz Muller, CEO of Deep Isolation.

“Freestone has a track record of delivering high-quality regulatory planning and environmental clean up projects for government customers.

The Freestone team will continue to be led by geologist Steve Airhart, president.

“We’ve been watching Deep Isolation’s progress toward solving the seemingly unsolvable problem of nuclear waste disposal, and we’re excited to join such an important mission,” Airhart said.

Senske acquires insect, weed control business in Gig Harbor

Senske Services has acquired Custom Insect & Weed Control based in Gig Harbor.

Senske, a 75-year-old family-owned provider of premier lawn, tree, and pest control services, has an office in Kennewick.

Custom Insect & Weed Control was founded in 1978 by Larry Morrison. Its customers will be serviced by Washington Tree & Lawn Care, a division of Senske Services. Existing services will continue uninterrupted from the Lakewood location, and customers can take advantage of the expanded service offerings.

The acquisition represents the sixth completed by Senske in the last 13 months.

The Senske family of brands includes Senske Pest Control, Senske Lawn and Tree Care, Senske Grounds Maintenance, Washington Tree & Lawn Care, and Christmas Décor by Senske.

Senske said it is actively exploring expansion opportunities.

Pasco gets grant to convert tennis courts into soccer fields

The city of Pasco plans to convert two of the tennis courts at Sylvester Park into soccer mini-fields, or mini soccer courts, thanks to a $40,000 grant.

City officials say the grant will cover about a third of the projected cost.

The city of Pasco, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, or NRPA, received the grant to provide increased access to youth sports and play spaces in local parks.

The NRPA is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company on improving access to youth sports as part of Disney’s commitment to providing access to active play and creating healthier generations.

“We’re pleased that the city was one of 16 selected out of the country for this grant, and we thank the NRPA and Disney,” said Zach Ratkai, the city’s director of administrative and community services.

Thanks to a $ 1 million grant from Disney, NRPA is providing communities like Pasco with increased access to youth sports and play spaces in local parks for children and families across the United States.

NRPA is developing resources aimed at training and mentoring park and recreation professionals to help close gaps in access to youth sports programs, facilities and policies.

This investment supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal to increase equitable access to play opportunities, including youth sports, and encourage children and families to enjoy their local parks to improve overall health and well-being.

Black Rock pauses Roasters conversions, opens 100th store

Black Rock Coffee Bar, the Tri-Cities’ newest coffee brand, recently hit a milestone.

ChainStore Age, which tracks the retail sector, reports it opened its 100th store, in Chandler, Arizona, where it now has 22 locations.

The family-owned company from Portland formed in 2008 and purchased the Kennewick-based Roasters Coffee chain in early 2021. It has converted locations in Kennewick but paused the process for the holidays.

“There’s a bunch of factors including the busyness of the holiday season, supply chain snags, and contractor schedules to name a few. We don’t want to disrupt customer or barista flows,” said McKenzie Parker, manager for the Tri-Cities, as well as Colorado and Idaho.

The company has converted the coffee shops at 5215 W. Okanogan Ave. and 300 N. Ely St.

How many Tri-Citians are there? Here’s the latest

There were 305,223 people living in the greater Tri-Cities in November, according to updated population figures released by the state Office of Financial Management in December.

The latest stats show Benton County had 209,400 residents, with more than 82% living in one of the county’s five cities – Benton City, Kennewick, Prosser, Richland and West Richland.

Franklin County had 98,350 residents, with nearly 86% living in one of its four cities – Connell, Kahlotus, Mesa and Pasco.

The populations for individual cities, with their rank in the state in parenthesis, were:

Benton City, 3,500 (133); Connell, 5,125 (121); Kahlotus, 145 (275); Kennewick, 84,620 (6); Mesa, 390 (247)

Pasco, 78,700 (16); Prosser 6,130 (116); Richland, 61,320 (21) and West Richland, 17,070 (63)

Washington had 7.76 million residents, with 65% living in cities.

Go to:

Register now for home and garden show

Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities is accepting registrations from vendors for its Feb. 25-27 Regional Home & Garden Show, to be held at the HAPO Center in Pasco.

Prospective vendors should visit for registration information, which includes completing a vendor agreement and paying a deposit.

Spaces are not reserved until both are received.

Call 509-735-2745 for more information.

Prosser police station moves into new temporary home

The Prosser Police Department has moved into its new temporary home.

Located behind Chukar Cherries at 205 Hagarty Lane, the department recently opened its doors to the public after a May 8 commercial fire destroyed downtown city offices.

Business office hours are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.

The department is not processing new/original concealed pistol licenses (CPL) or offering fingerprinting services at this time.

Residents may still submit renewal, late renewal and replacement CPL applications.

More information on how you can submit these forms can be found on the Police Department’s website:\police.

For general business questions, call the department’s business office at 509-786-1500.

To file a report or reach an officer, call non-emergency dispatch at 509-786-2112.



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