Omicron cloud won’t dim our outlook on 2022 development

This new year begins under the maddening cloud of Covid-19, omicron edition, but color us optimistic at the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

Several high-profile projects to boost community pride, property values and economic development are on the horizon.

In Richland, the Washington Army National Guard building, a $15 million, 40,000-square-foot readiness center at Horn Rapids Industrial Park to serve a 150-member Stryker Infantry Unit, is expected to be ready this spring or summer, with classrooms and conference rooms available at 2655 First St.

We can’t wait to visit LIGO Hanford. The new $7.7 million visitor center features interactive exhibits and a replica of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to the LIGO scientists who detected gravity waves through the network of observatories. Terence L. Thornhill Architect designed the center to echo the gravitational waves it celebrates. LIGO, for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, is operated by Caltech and MIT.  

Columbia Basin College’s Student Recreation Center opens this year, four years after the student body agreed to underwrite the $30 million cost. The 80,000-square-foot rec center has three gymnasiums and other features.

The Little Badger Mountain Preserve Trail, which extends Friends of Badger Mountain’s network of hiking trails, is another cause for celebration. The nonprofit has raised most of the money it needs to secure land for the trail. We’re proponents of protecting this important Tri-City asset.

In Pasco, development of the vast Broadmoor district commences with several residential projects on the west side. To the east, the Lewis Street Overpass is under construction, and the Port of Pasco’s Osprey Pointe property is being readied for a public market and future development.

Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of updates to Columbia Park Trail at the Richland Wye, where the road, as well as trails, sidewalks and visitor amenities, near Bateman Island have gotten a facelift. Hoof it up the hill outside the nearby Reach Museum and you’ll find a perfect midday walk with a lovely view.

We look forward to seeing projects take shape throughout the community, from the Resort at Hansen Park in Kennewick to development at Kennewick’s Vista Field, a new facility for Tri-Cities Animal Control in Pasco and fresh momentum for a Pasco aquatics center.

As we head into the third year of the pandemic, it does feel a little bit like Groundhog Day. But instead of focusing on the shadow, we’re seeing plenty of reasons for optimism.

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