Real Estate & Construction Briefs – January 2023

Riverside Panda Express plan gains steam in Richland

Millennium Construction Group submitted plans to demolish the former Richland Red Robin building, 924 George Washington Way, on Dec. 22.

The application was pending in early January.

The restaurant is slated to be replaced by a new building housing a Panda Express.

The property is flanked by the Columbia River to the east, Sterling’s restaurant to the south and George Washington Way to the west.

Panda Express, based in Rosemead, California, confirmed its plans to open new locations in Richland and in Pasco in 2022, bringing its local footprint to five restaurants.,

A Las Vegas-based trust paid $1.8 million for the former Red Robin building in April 2022. The property includes 1.4 acres and a deteriorating 7,732-square-foot building. It was originally constructed in 1954 and was once home to City Buffet. It has been vacant for about nine years.

The Pasco location is set for 1525 W. Court St., where the Panda Express developer intends to demolish a former credit union to make way for a restaurant with drive-thru.

Sephora moves, J.C. Penney creates own beauty shop

Shoppers at Kennewick’s Columbia Center mall will have a new option when it comes to beauty products.

J.C. Penney Co. is opening its own beauty shop in the spot once occupied by Sephora.

Sephora moved to the other end of the mall after a partnership between the two brands ended. Sephora is now at 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 801, next to Verizon.

J.C. Penney debuted its in-house beauty store in 2021, and by 2022 said it would establish the JCPenney Beauty brand in its stores nationwide.

The new brand focuses on diverse products for customers with all skin types and colors. About 20% of its products are associated with JCPenney partner Thirteen Lune. Thirteen Lune focuses on beauty brands catering to people of all colors.

The company said it would complete 600 in-store conversions by spring 2023. The stores offer tech-enabled systems that give customers an opportunity to try makeup virtually.

Since the launch, JCPenney Beauty has sourced products from more than 100 brands, with about 60% founded by women or people of color.

Richland to demolish old Economy Inn

Construction Group International LLC of Woodinville will demolish a boarded up motel in a prominent spot on George Washington Way under a $437,000 contract with the city of Richland.

The city council approved the contract Jan. 3, at its first meeting of 2023.

The city agreed to buy the Economy Inn, 515 George Washington Way, in March 2022, with reports calling it a crime-ridden and blighted property. The two-story hotel and pool were constructed in 1962 on a wedge-shaped parcel at George Washington Way and Jadwin Avenue.

The city closed the motel on June 14, 2022, the day $1.2 million deal closed, and hired a consultant to confirm the presence of hazardous materials that had to be removed before it could be torn down.

Construction Group submitted the lowest of 11 bids for the work, which the city expected to cost $450,000. Bids ranged up to nearly $850,000.

The city expected to landscape the 0.9-acre site once the old building and parking lot were removed. It could be reserved for a future municipal use, such as a fire station.

The property’s 2021 property tax bill was $8,854.

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