Real Estate & Construction Briefs – September 2022

Mirror Ministries dedicates recovery home

Mirror Ministries has broken ground on Esther’s Home at an undisclosed location in rural Pasco.

Esther’s Home creates a safe place for minors who have survived being trafficked for sex in Washington state. It is one of about 30 so-called “restoration homes” serving minor survivors nationwide.

“What may seem like a small step will make a huge difference in the lives of young survivors,” said Tricia MacFarlan, executive director of Mirror Ministries, which bought the 20-acre property for the project in January 2022.

The property included a home that has been renovated with five bedrooms, as well as offices for staff and therapy, and activity areas. Residents will have an opportunity to complete online schooling and therapeutic activities.

It will serve up to five survivors, ages 11-18, at a time. Residents will live at Esther’s House for up to a year. The nonprofit has raised more than $3 million of the $4 million needed to support the project as well as future operating costs. Fundraising is ongoing.

Mirror Ministries reports serving an average of 50 sex trafficking survivors a year.

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Richland apartment complex sells for $49 million

Shoreline Village, a 216-unit apartment complex near Richland’s new Duportail bridge, sold for $49 million, or $227,000 per unit, in a deal that closed Aug. 22.

The buyer, Kirkland-based 11 Capital, was represented by Berkadia Real Estate Advisors Seattle, which did not provide a capitalization rate signifying the anticipated return on the investment for the transaction.

However, the price paid makes it one of the largest apartment complex transactions in Benton County in recent years, according to assessor records. The highest price paid for any multifamily property since 2017 was a $21.25 million deal recorded in 2020, according to county records.

Shoreline Village, 2555 Duportail St., was built in 2003 and offers a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. It is at the intersection of Duportail Street and Highway 240.

Popeyes partner buys restaurant site in Richland

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is expanding its Tri-Cities presence after debuting this summer in Kennewick.

Ambrosia QSR Chicken Real Estate LLC, representing Popeyes, paid $1.84 million for an undeveloped 2.5-acre site on Duportail Street northwest of the Keene Road intersection.

The property is between Yakima Federal Savings Bank & Loan and an office building that’s home to Tri-City Orthodontics and Smile Surfers.

The Kennewick Irrigation District was the seller.

NAI Tri-Cities represented Popeyes.

Popeyes, part of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International, opened its first Tri-City restaurant at Highway 395 and Vista Way-Clearwater Avenue in August.

A second restaurant is planned in Pasco, where the city approved plans for a Popeyes near Sandifur Crossing, 5814 Road 68, in April.

Hogback Development is constructing the Pasco building.

Ambrosia QSR is a Vancouver-based company that develops Burger King and Popeyes brands. From its base in western Washington and Oregon, Ambrosia has moved to develop markets in the Tri-Cities and Spokane.

Our Cookie House expands to Pasco

Our Cookie House, a locally-owned cookie shop known for its oversized treats, is expanding to Pasco.

Our Cookie House announced the expansion on its Facebook page. The new shop is being built at 6605 Burden Blvd., in a strip mall opposite the HAPO Center.

Owner Ashley Meehan, a former Tri-Citian who commuted from the west side to run her business, opened the original at 8530 W. Gage Blvd., Unit D, in Kennewick in late 2020, using recipes she developed.

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Fuel, asphalt and lumber prices fell this summer

The cost of some materials and services used in nonresidential construction fell slightly in July relative to June, according to Associated General Contractors of America.

The industry association noted that concrete and other materials continue to rise, but diesel fuel, asphalt, lumber and some metals fell 1.3% in July, the most recent month available.

“Contractors welcome any relief they can get in the cost of most construction materials. But it is still too hard to acquire most materials and prices remain quite elevated for many key products,” said CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.

Contractors’ bid prices rose 5.4% over the same period, AGC noted.

The producer price index, which tracks the cost of construction materials and services, remained 14.6% above 2021 levels.

“We are not out of the woods yet when it comes to high materials prices and supply chain problems,” Sandherr said. “Unless public officials can put in place measures to arrest materials price inflation and unjam supply chains, contractors will continue to be squeezed by high prices.”

Historic preservation grants available

Benton County is accepting applications for its 2023 round of historic preservation grants through Oct. 7.

The program is funded by document recording fees and aims to promote historic preservation within the county.

The program is open to government entities or IRS-recognized nonprofit 501(c)(3) entities that are physically located within the county.

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Goodwill breaks ground on new retail store

Goodwill of the Columbia is building a new retail store and employment center in College Place near Walla Walla.

The nonprofit serving people with disabilities and other barriers held ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the 20,000-square-foot project in August at 1017 NE C St.

Bed Bath & Beyond to close 150 stores

Bed Bath & Beyond, the national home goods chain, will close 150 “lower-producing” stores, cut jobs and retreat from private label plans as it combats mounting losses.

ChainStore Age, which monitors the retail industry, said the company secured $500 million in loans and credit “to shore up its business ahead of the holiday selling season.”

Bed Bath & Beyond outlined its plans in an Aug. 31 business and strategy update. 

The company planned to slash costs to lower expenses by $250 million in its 2022 fiscal year to address losses that widened to nearly $358 million in its most recent quarter, leading to a downgrade in its credit rating by S&P Global ratings.

Bed Bath & Beyond operates a store near Columbia Center mall in Kennewick, which was not on the list of initial store closures released Sept. 16. The list included two Northwest stores, in Lakewood, Washington, and Beaverton, Oregon. 

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Kennewick water tank project wrapping up

The city of Kennewick reports it is nearing the end of a $15.1 million project to replace an aging water tank in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

The reservoir replacement project off Irving Street began in 2020 and included massive excavation and construction as the city worked to build a 6 million-gallon reservoir and related pipelines while retiring an existing 10 million-gallon one.

The construction site is surrounded by homes in the Creekstone subdivision.

Rotchsky Inc. is the main contractor.

The new reservoir is expected to be complete in September and demolition of the old tank has begun. The city said Creekstone Park should reopen to residents in September. Crews have installed fencing and landscaping around the new facility.

Housing projects grow in Mattawa-Desert Aire area

Housing projects have been increasing over the past three years in the Mattawa and Desert Aire communities, according to the Port of Mattawa.

More than 300 new residential units (single-family homes and apartments) have been built in the greater Mattawa area, population 10,000, with another 200 new residential units projected to be built in late 2022 and in 2023.

The area sits about an hour northwest of the Tri-Cities, along the Columbia River between Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams in southwest Grant County.

Since late 2019, there have been 112 new apartments built in Mattawa.

From 2019-22, 191 new residential units have been constructed in surrounding areas around Mattawa, including but not limited to Desert Aire.

A residential housing developer recently announced a project to build 101 single-family homes and duplexes on the north side of Mattawa.

Lars Leland, the port’s executive director, said the housing developments support economic, commercial and tourism growth. He also noted the area’s proximity to Interstate 90 and it being centrally located between the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Ellensburg, Moses Lake and Wenatchee.

Richland Community Center closes for renovations

The Richland Community Center is planning to be closed from Sept. 26 to Oct. 13 for renovation work.

The center is at 500 Amon Park Drive at Howard Amon Park.

Stay updated about the project and operating schedule by checking the city of Richland’s Parks and Recreation website at or by calling 509-942-7529.

Vintners Village plans block party and ribbon-cutting

Vintners Village in Prosser will hold a block party and ribbon-cutting from 3-5 p.m. Sept. 15 at 236 Port Ave.

The program welcomes two tasting rooms and a boutique and bakery that opened in the Port of Benton-owned property during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new businesses are Corks and Taps, owned by Jason Domanico, Sister to Sister on the Ave, owned by M’Liss Bierlink, and Wautoma Springs, a collaboration between winemaker Jessica Munnell, vineyard owner Tom Merle and tasting room manager Rachel Mercer.

The port constructed the second phase of Vintners Village in 2018. The newcomers join the Prosser Economic Development Association and 12 other local businesses.

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Port celebrates latest phase at Columbia Gardens

The Port of Kennewick celebrates the completion of the second phase of its Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village near the cable bridge with a ribbon-cutting at 2 p.m. Sept. 15.

The event was rescheduled after being canceled in July because of extreme heat.

The second phase added a new building with room for two wineries and a food truck plaza. Gordon Estate Winery and Muret-Gaston Winery opened tasting rooms, joining Bartholomew and Monarcha wineries, which moved into the first phase prior to the pandemic.

Columbia Gardens, 313 E. Columbia Gardens Way, is across from Zip’s on East Columbia Drive.

The food truck plaza is home to a regular lineup of vendors: Culture Shock Bistro, Ann’s Best Creole & Soul Food, Taste of Wok, Only Tacos, Bobalastic, Rollin Ice Cream and Swampy’s BBQ.

The second phase added six ready-to-build parcels, which are available for private development. Swampy’s has closed a deal to build a permanent kitchen at the site.

Columbia Gardens is zoned urban mixed-use and is in a federally designated Opportunity Zone.

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