More big development
coming to Pasco’s east side

Pasco’s not-so-sleepy east side is getting yet another massive new development.

Tarragon LLC, a Seattle development firm that builds industrial, residential, retail and mixed-use projects, submitted plans for an industrial complex with eight buildings totaling 2.1 million square feet on South Road 40 East, near Sacajawea State Park, to the city of Pasco.

The combined size is roughly equal to the two Amazon warehouses being built next door and across the street.

The industrial park’s future tenants could bring 1,500 employees to the neighborhood and add 7,250 new vehicle trips to local streets per day, with truck trips representing 17% of the total, according to a description of the project in environmental review documents.

The project could have a construction value of $273 million or more, based on the average cost of industrial development of $130 to $190 per square foot in the Seattle region in mid-2022, as calculated by Rider Levett Bucknall, which tracks commercial construction costs.

Ben Waiss, senior development manager and Tarragon’s lead contact, declined to comment.

The project is referred to as Pasco Road 40 Development in documents filed under the Washington State Environmental Protection Act, or SEPA. The city issued an environmental checklist regarding the project on Aug. 2 and indicated it is probable the project will not have a significant impact on the environment.

The review process was pending when the Journal of Business went to press. Tarragon had not secured building permits.

The project will occupy two parcels of undeveloped land totaling 111 acres. It is directly west of the Lakeview manufactured home park. One of the two Amazon warehouses is to the north; the other is kitty-corner across the street.

Tarragon paid $5.2 million for the southern parcel, which borders BNSF Railway-owned tracts, in March. It is finalizing a deal to purchase the northern parcel from the city. Both are zoned for industrial use.

The environmental review documents indicate Tarragon expects to begin construction of the first phase in spring 2023, with completion set for later in the year, depending on how quickly space is occupied.

The proposal comes at a time when industrial space is in high demand, particularly in Pasco.

The Port of Pasco, for example, is creating two industrial parks to accommodate new and growing tenants as existing parks, such as Big Pasco, Pasco Processing Center and elsewhere fill up.

Darigold Inc. secured half of the 300-acre Reimann Industrial Center near Highway 395 for its $500 million milk plant, which is expected to start construction in early September. PIC395 or Pasco Industrial Center Highway 395, is a 55-acre park at a former farm, also off Highway 395 and has sold a site to Old Dominion, a trucking and logistics firm.

“There’s just a lot of demand for new industrial facilities. People are looking at Pasco because the land is available compared to other areas,” said Randy Hayden, the port’s executive director. The port is not involved in the project.

Karl Dye, president and CEO of the Tri-City Development Council, or TRIDEC, said the economic development agency fields a growing number of inquiries about expanding to the Tri-Cities. Half are looking for existing space, which makes an industrial park both needed and welcome.

“You can never have too much industrial space,” he said.

Demand will only surge when Amazon Inc. opens its two warehouses, which will not only need inventory but will need services and equipment to support the massive operations and their employees.

When complete, Tarragon said buildings and pavement will cover about 90% of the site.

The site plan includes buildings of varying sizes, a design that suggests Tarragon intends to cater to tenants both large and small. The largest will be 588,000 square feet and the smallest 63,600 square feet.

Four small retention ponds face the railroad tracks, along with a 10-foot landscape buffer.

The confluence of the Columbia and Snake rivers at Sacajawea State Park is about 2,750 feet from the southern property line. The property is not within the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s  100-year flood plain.

The application notes an archaeological survey was carried out earlier in the year and identified one possible sensitive area to the north. The potential site is a trash scatter of glass, metal and ceramic fragments dating to the 1950s and is not recommended for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

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