Vista Field is ready for its public debut

Developers, start your engines.

The Port of Kennewick will begin accepting proposals from developers who want to build homes, offices, restaurants and other structures at its Vista Field urban development starting on June 16.

The port will announce it is ready for ideas at the former municipal airport during grand opening festivities that will highlight the fountains, water feature, streets and other amenities installed at the site in central Kennewick.

The first phase involves 21 parcels on 20 acres at the heart of the site, which is east of the Columbia Center retail area.

Four parcels are earmarked for single-family development, seven for live-work development and the remainder for mixed-use.

Each individual parcel has a list of potential best uses. Prospective bidders are encouraged to tailor their offers to the vision for Vista Field – an urbane, mixed-use neighborhood that focuses on pedestrians and atmosphere more than motor vehicles.

Amber Hanchette, the port’s real estate director, will serve as the sales contact.

The port will pay buyers’ brokers a 4% commission. Hanchette said the port is finalizing the legal details associated with the project, such as creating an owners’ association to manage future maintenance, legal descriptions, design standards and securing a formal address for each parcel.

“We’ve been working on those docs. Those are 99% done,” she said. The documents will be recorded before the first parcel is sold.

The port expects to take about four weeks to evaluate proposals. Buyers still will have to go through the traditional closing process and submit building plans to the city for permits.

Information, including prices, will be posted at vistafield.com, a standalone website that will launch about the same time the port formally celebrates the project.

The port closed Vista Field at the end of 2013 and developed the mixed-use vision in concert with the public. In 2019, it awarded a $4.9 million contract to Richland-based Total Site Services LLC for a four-part project that included building streets and utilities, and an 850-foot linear water feature complete with fountains, walkways and bridges.

TSS wrapped up during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jersey barriers keep motor vehicles away from the property, but it regularly attracts pedestrians and bicyclists who want to explore.

The June 16 celebration is an opportunity for the public to begin enjoying the property even in its undeveloped condition.

There will be food trucks, a band, acknowledgement of the financial and other support from the city of Kennewick, Benton County and area tribes. Instead of cutting a ribbon, the port will remove the jersey barrier and open Crosswind Boulevard, offering Tri-City drivers a new route between West Grandridge Boulevard and West Deschutes Avenue.

The event also will feature public tours of Kennewick’s newest fire station, which opened at 6941 W. Grandridge Blvd. in the midst of the pandemic.

Visa Field is expected to develop in eight phases and generate an estimated $500 million in private investment. At full buildout, it will add an about 740,000 square feet of retail, office, service and entertainment space, 1,000 homes, condos and apartments and a central plaza with public space.

If you go

What: Vista Field Grand Opening

Time: 2:30 p.m. June 16

Where: 6600 W. Deschutes Ave., Bldg. B, Kennewick. Enter from Deschutes Avenue.

RSVP: Attendees are asked to RSVP to POK@portofkennewick.org.

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