Real Estate & Construction Briefs – May 2022

Physicians group to transform former bank into medical office

A group of physicians at Benton Franklin Orthopedic Associates, operating as 8200 Gage LLC, plan to remodel the old Banner Bank building at 8200 W. Gage Blvd. in Kennewick, across from Olive Garden, and turn it into a medical office.

The work includes the demolition of interior walls, drywall and ceilings for a new medical office to include exam rooms, waiting rooms, X-ray room and restrooms – a $585,000 project, according to plans filed with the city.

The LLC bought the 5,380-square-foot building from First Federal Savings & Loan Association in December 2021 for $1.5 million.

The Banner Bank branch closed in December 2020.

Contractors for the project are W McKay Construction LLC, Bruce Mechanical Inc. and REV1 Mechanical LLP.

Benton Franklin Orthopedic Associates has offices at 711 S. Auburn St. and 3730 Plaza Way, both in Kennewick, and at 9915 Sandifur Parkway in Pasco.


Kennewick Starbucks to get updated look

The Starbucks coffee shop at 7600 Clearwater Ave., Suite 110, in Kennewick, across from the flashcube building, will undergo a $123,450 remodel.

The interior work includes a minor remodel of the backbar area, including new casework, equipment and finishes. Minimal exterior work includes shifting some existing drive-thru equipment, according to plans filed with the city.

Contractors for the project include Associated Construction Inc. of Spokane and Apex Plumbing and Mechanical Piping of Yakima.


China Café to reopen at Marineland Village

China Café, a Kennewick dining fixture until it closed in November 2021, will reopen at Marineland Village, 201 S. Edison St., in suites 236 and 239.

NAI Tri-Cities, which represented both landlord and tenant in the lease negotiations, announced that Ming Tam, who took over the business in 1984, intends to reopen.

“We are pleased to announce that China Café owners are relocating to Marineland Village. Customers will be thrilled to know that the restaurant should open within the next six months,” it said.

China Café operated for about 40 years in a former Pizza Hut on North Ely Street, perched on Highway 395. The restaurant closed and the building sold to the owners of Graze – A Place to Eat who are turning it into their newest location.


Popeyes Chicken plans to open Pasco restaurant

Popeyes Louisiana Chicken plans to open a Pasco restaurant with a drive-thru at 5814 Road 68.

The restaurant, which offers a New Orleans-style menu featuring spicy chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and other regional items, will be built north of the Hogback Development shopping area at Road 68 and Sandifur Parkway.

Grocery Outlet, Wendy’s, Planet Fitness and Dollar Tree are among the current tenants in the development.

The 2,304-square-foot Popeyes will be the fast-foot franchise’s second Tri-City location. A Kennewick restaurant is under construction at 240 N. Ely St., the site of a now-closed used car business at the intersection of Highway 395 and Vista Way/Clearwater Avenue.

The building contractor is Everett-based 2812 Architecture.

Hogback Three Rivers LLC owns the property.


PSD buys building for offices, Covid-19 testing

The Pasco School District purchased a Court Street professional office building to house its online programs.

Raul Sital, assistant superintendent for operations, said it could also be used as a Covid-19 testing site.

The district paid $1.1 million for Riverview Professional Center, 4403 W. Court St. in a deal that recorded on March 10.

The 10,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1983 and contained 7,400 square feet of medical office space and 2,500 square feet of dental office space. It occupies a 1.4-acre site.

Prior to being sold to a tax-exempt public agency, it was assessed for roughly $6,000 in property taxes.


Yakama Reservation border dispute settled after a century

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a legal challenge involving the disputed boundary of the Yakama Reservation.

The nation’s highest court’s move settles the argument over 121,465 acres in the southwestern corner of the reservation, an area that includes the eastern half of Mt. Adams and the Glenwood Valley. Klickitat County argued that ambiguous language in a treaty excluded the land from the reservation,

The tribe said the court’s move settles a dispute that has been raging for more than a century.

“The Supreme Court’s decision once again validates the continuing strength of our Treaty rights under the United States Constitution. The Yakama Nation will never compromise when our Treaty is at stake,” said Delano Saluskin, Yakama Nation Tribal Council chairman.

The dispute centered around language in the Treaty of 1855. A draft written by Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens incorrectly referenced the reservation border as “passing south and east of Mount Adams, to the spur whence flows the waters of the Klickitat and Pisco rivers.” There is no such spur.

The tribe’s interpretation was reaffirmed several times, by the Indian Claims Commission in 1966, by President Richard Nixon in a 1972 Executive Order and by federal surveyors in 1982.

Before the case reached the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington disagreed with the county’s interpretation.

The Supreme Court declined to review the lower court’s decision in April.


New day care, school coming to West Richland

A day care and future elementary school is coming to West Richland.

Construction begins this summer on Bombing Range Daycare, according to environmental documents filed with the state.

It should be complete by the end of the year.

The project near Holly Way and Bombing Range Road will add a drop-in day care and private  elementary school in future phases.

The three-acre property is next to Kid’s World Childcare and across Bombing Range from the Islamic Center of Tri-Cities.

In April, the city of West Richland is mitigated determination of non-significance that requires the builder to adhere to area design standards, use landscaping to screen the parcel and minimize noise from air conditioning units and other equipment.

The owner, Amir Syed, is based in Apex, North Carolina, according to county property records.

The phased project includes a new child care facility on the southeast portion of the property, with parking lot. The northern portion will remain undeveloped, pending development of a drop-in day care facility and a future elementary.

The West Richland Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the site, which is zoned medium-density residential.

Knutzen Engineering is the designer.


Crepe Haus plans to open in Kennewick

A new restaurant offering crepes and Mexican food announced plans to open in Kennewick.

Crepe Haus at 2100 N. Belfair St. is in the former restaurant once home to Cinco de Mayo and Casa Chapala. The building is near the Columbia Center Boulevard and Highway 240 interchange, near Furniture Row and Planned Parenthood.

The Crepe Haus’ Facebook page said it promises to serve unique crepes for every craving beginning in June.

The restaurant said it has partnered with El Compadre Mexican Restaurant, with locations in Castle Rock, Long Beach and Warrenton, Oregon, to also offer authentic Mexican dishes.

Adalberto Avelar bought the 5,649-square-foot restaurant for $675,000 in November 2021.

Adalberto and Jacklyn Avelar of Benton City are listed as the owners of Crepe Haus.


Pasco awards contract for future fire station work

C&E Trenching LLC will install streets and utilities associated with Pasco’s future Fire Station No. 85 under a $1 million contract awarded May 2.

The station will be constructed on city-owned property at Road 100 and Maple Drive, purchased for that purpose three years ago. The fire station will be built in two phases.

To prepare for the future fire station, Road 100 is being widened to align with sections to the north and south that were previously updated by private developers. Maple Drive will be extended to the back side of the fire station property and a utility vault is being relocated and overhead power lines are being buried along the front of the property.


PNNL breaks ground on $75M Grid Storage Launchpad

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory broke ground on its $75 million Grid Storage Launchpad on April 21, with a ceremony featuring U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity selected PNNL to host the launchpad in August 2019, acknowledging the lab’s extensive work in grid energy storage and to modernize the power grid.

The 86,000-square-foot facility will have space for 35 research laboratories and offices for about 105 staff representing a cross section of disciplines. It will have testing chambers to assess prototypes and new storage technologies up to 100 kilowatts under realistic operating conditions.

Flexible work stations and collaborative spaces as well as dedicated work spaces will offer researchers a mix of ways to work.

The project is funded with a combination of federal funding and $8.3 million in state funds from Washington’s Clean Energy Fund. PNNL purchased two state-of-the-art Thermo Fisher electron microscopes and a Thermo Fisher spectrometer to allow researchers to view changes to battery materials as they charge and discharge.

Harvey-Cleary Builders and Kirksey Architecture, both of Houston, are partnering to design and build the project in Richland. The partners previously served as the design-build team for the $90 million Energy Sciences Center that opened on the PNNL campus in late 2021.

The GSL will be ready for researchers in 2023.


Winery opens tasting room at Columbia Gardens

Muret-Gaston Winery is taking over the former Cave B tasting room at Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village in Kennewick.

The tasting room is at 313 E. Columbia Gardens Way, #120, near the cable bridge.

Owners Amy and Kyle Johnson will serve Muret-Gaston’s red and white wines as well as wines from their Purple Star label by the glass.

“We’ve been behind the vision of Columbia Gardens from the start,” said Amy Johnson, proprietor, director and fellow winemaker of the Benton City winery. “The waterfront and downtown Kennewick are exploding with potential, and we are excited to be a part of it.”

The Port of Kennewick established Columbia Gardens as a wine-anchored tourism destination designed to transform the Columbia River waterfront into a visitor destination.

Cave B Estate Winery opened in the space two weeks before pandemic-related lockdowns and decided to vacate the leased space in February.

The newest addition joins Bartholomew Winery, Monarcha Winery and Gordon Estate Winery.


Pasco sports fields: If you bid it, maybe you can build it

The city of Pasco is seeking bid proposals for excavation, road construction, utility extension and other work related to its A Street Sports Complex.

Bid documents are available in the city’s plan room.

The bid deadline is 2 p.m. May 26 and will be opened shortly after that.

The sports complex is a multiuse sports field at A and Elm streets and is partly funded by a state recreation grant to support youth athletics facilities. The project is extending Elm Street to give access to the site as well as a parking lot and walking path.

When constructed, it will have a drinking foundation, a shelter for portable toilets and a grass field large enough to hold three full-sized 210-by-330-foot sports fields.

SPVV Landscape Architects is the designer.

Go to cityofpascoplanroom.com/jobs/public. Users must register to access the page.


Realtors choose community partner, seek nominees

The Tri-City Association of Realtors has chosen Rebuilding Mid-Columbia as its 2022 community partner.

The association chooses a nonprofit each year to support.

Rebuilding Mid-Columbia helps low-income, disabled and veteran homeowners with no-cost home repairs.

Nominations for its June 25 community revitalization project are underway.

More than 100 volunteers will team up to revitalize older neighborhoods in need of help with painting, landscaping and more. Benton and Franklin county residents are asked to identify potential neighborhoods to include.

Go to rebuildingmc.org or call 509-420-4854 for information.


Mortgage delinquencies decrease in first quarter

The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one- to four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.11% of all loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter of 2022, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey.

For the purposes of the survey, MBA asks servicers to report loans in forbearance as delinquent if the payment was not made based on the original terms of the mortgage. The delinquency rate decreased 54 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2021 and was down 227 basis points from one year ago.

“The mortgage delinquency rate dropped for the seventh consecutive quarter, reaching its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2019,” said Marina Walsh, vice president of industry analysis. “The decrease in delinquency rates was apparent across all loan types, and especially for FHA loans. The delinquency rate for FHA loans declined 118 basis points from fourth-quarter 2021 and was down 509 basis points from one year ago.”

According to Walsh, most of the improvement in loan performance can be attributed to the movement of loans that were 90 days or more delinquent. The majority of these aged delinquencies were either cured or entered post-forbearance loan workouts.

The expiration of pandemic-related foreclosure moratoriums led to a modest increase in foreclosure starts from the record lows maintained over the past two years.


WSU grad gives $20M gift for engineering building

Washington State University’s next engineering building will be named Schweitzer Engineering Hall following a $20 million gift from Edmund and Beatriz Schweitzer and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.

It is one of the largest financial contributions in the history of WSU.

WSU is raising half the $80 million cost from donors and will ask the Legislature for the remaining $40 million through the capital budget process.

The new building will support growing enrollment in WSU’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, which currently serves nearly 6,000 students. Its oldest building dates to World War II.

The Schweitzers and SEL will each donate $10 million. Edmund Schweitzer completed his doctorate at WSU in 1977 and founded a successful company that makes parts used by utilities.

He is a longtime supporter of Cougar programs. He is a recipient of the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus award, the highest honor for Cougar grads.

The building will be constructed on the main Pullman campus and will house flexible classrooms, space for students to collaborate and accommodate club activities, tutoring and offices.

WSU intends to break ground in 2024.


Kettle corn shop to pop into Park Place

A kettle corn store is planning to open in the new strip mall already home to Graze – A Place to Eat, a sandwich shop at 624 George Washington Way in Richland.

KC Brand Kettle Corn plans $250,000 in tenant improvements in the 960-square-foot suite in the Park Place strip mall, according to building permits approved May 4 by the city.

Jeramy and Catilin Schultz own the business, which has been serving up sweet and salty popcorn since 2014, according to their website.

 

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