Signs of new construction on the south side of Badger Mountain—including
a new service station and convenience store that will include a fast-food
chicken restaurant—signal more growth coming to the planned development that’s
been years in the making.
Badger Mountain South’s owner and developer Nor Am
Investments has an end-goal of building 5,000 household units, comprised of
homes and apartments, filling nearly 1,500 acres in the high-growth area
of Richland at the “back side” of Badger Mountain in the next 18 years.
Hundreds of homes have sprouted up in recent years and
more are coming to the outskirts of Richland city limits, near the border of
West Richland, east of Interstate 82 off Dallas Road.
“The city of Richland is very pleased to see the progress
and development that is taking place in the Badger Mountain South community. As
of July 1, there were 553 permitted
residential units, 276 of which are associated with the apartments currently
under construction. Additionally, a development known as Goose Ridge
Estates has recently received preliminary plat approval for approximately 103
residential units,” said Kerwin Jensen, Richland’s development services
$725,000 service station and convenience store now under construction is set to
open this fall and plans are in the works for a mini-storage business on the
west side of Dallas Road.
76 service station will be at 5151 Trowbridge Blvd. at the corner of Dallas
Road. The 4,000-square-foot building will feature a modern façade, a drive-thru
coffee shop and a Chester’s restaurant.
Alabama-based fast-food chicken franchise is known for its bone-in fried
chicken, boneless wings, chicken tenders and several sides. Entrepreneur
magazine ranked the franchise No. 110 on its top 500 list. In 2018,
Chester’s operated 1,192 franchises. It often partners with convenience stores,
travel centers, truck stops and supermarket delis, according to its website.
service station is owned by Ajsa LLC, based in Kennewick, which also owns gas
stations in Pasco, Richland, Walla Walla and Burbank.
Backhoe Services in Pasco and Rapid Service of Spanaway are the contractors for
service station is expected to open in mid-October and will be the second
retail location at the master-planned community. Country Mercantile opened a
second store on Ava Way in 2015.
The original plan put the development’s completion at
2030, but following a slow start, the revised date is now 2037.
The developer’s representative, Dan Bruchman of
Windermere Group One in Richland, expects it will be completed well before
“We actually re-upped a 20-year entitlement so we have
18 years left, and at the rate that we’re growing now, we will actually hit the
5,000 housing units far before the entitlement expires. Now we literally can’t
get them constructed quickly enough,” he said.
It’s an about-face for the pace of growth in the
community with a vision of “residential neighborhoods that provide a variety of
housing types, styles and densities to serve a broad spectrum of incomes, ages,
and life stages.”
This includes higher-density housing, such as the $43.7 million apartment complex that got underway earlier this year along Bella Coola Lane. Copper Mountain Apartments will contain about 280 units intended for low-income tenants.
Single-family homes in Badger Mountain South originally
faced stringent restrictions on aesthetics, with garages facing an alley
instead of the street. It was thought these guidelines, along with other
limitations, were the reason for the lagging development seen about five years
into the first phase. The city eventually removed some of the restrictions.
Now, about 300 single-family homes are completed, with
another 178 lots targeted for completion, and the start of new home
construction beginning this fall. The new homes will be part of the West
Village and West Vineyard neighborhoods.
Future West Village homes are intended to be listed by
spring and summer 2020, totaling about 131 lots, with another 110 lots ready
before the end of next year, Bruchman said.
Badger Mountain South is an “open plat” community, which
allows any private party or homebuilder to buy lots there.
“There’s such a backlog of builders,” Bruchman said.
Some currently represented include New Tradition,
Viking, Prodigy and Hammerstrom. There are about 1,000 acres remaining for
development, and the density of a builder’s footprint mostly correlates with
what it buys when lots come available after infrastructure improvements, like
sewer and water access.
“It’s just a matter of what they have in their war
chest, as far as land acquisition at the time the phases come on as far as the
size of the bite they take,” Bruchman said.
With homes, come schools
In addition to the home projects, the Richland School
District owns 53 acres within the community, with plans to build an elementary
school on the site. The future school project was included in a
$99 million bond measure approved by voters in 2017.
“Its construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in
the next several years depending on enrollment growth,” said Ty Beaver,
spokesman for the Richland School District.
This would be the district’s 12th elementary school.
Students living in the Badger Mountain South neighborhood currently attend
White Bluffs Elementary School.
The Kennewick School District also owns 14 acres
within the Richland development, with the intention of eventually adding a
school there also.
Amon Creek Elementary was the first school to open
within the Kennewick district’s boundaries that was also within Richland city
“We have no immediate plans to build on this property
until more housing is built. Our current assessment, based on information we
received from the city, suggests that our next school should be built along the
Bob Olson Parkway. We have not determined the final site of elementary school
No. 18 that was included in the 2019 bond that voters approved in
February. The current timeline has it opening sometime between 2022 and 2025,”
said Robyn Chastain, Kennewick district spokeswoman.
A park and places to worship
30-acre park is also in the “foreseeable future” and would include
multi-purpose athletic fields, creating another large park in Richland that
would be about two-thirds the size of Howard Amon Park.
Am Investments said the company is master planning the fields with the Richland
Parks Department and the Richland School District.
adjacent to the planned park and Richland school sites is the future location
of a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stake center.
said the stake center will be on the corner of Trowbridge Boulevard and Bella
Coola Lane, on land purchased for $600,000.
Bruchman said land at Ava Way and Bellaview Avenue was purchased for $367,000
and is intended for a future Sikh temple.
construction timeline for both worship centers is still pending.
Kadlec is expected to be an anchor tenant for the 43-acre
neighborhood considered a “wellness campus.” The Richland health care provider
owns a five-acre parcel but has no immediate plans for development, according
Future development of the wellness campus is expected to
begin next fall, and will include residential units intended for active adults
and retirees, falling in line with the master-planned community’s vision to
include housing options across all life stages.
“Badger Mountain South is one of the fastest growing areas
within the Richland city limits and this development has added a significant
amount of revenue to the city’s tax base,” Jensen said.
Bruchman said there are multiple commercial opportunities
in Badger Mountain South still available immediately, with more on the way.
Zoning varies for the commercial lots, which total about
200 acres, including about 84 acres along Dallas Road and I-82 zoned
by the city as C-1 for “areas which primarily provide retail products and
services for the convenience of nearby neighborhoods with minimal impact to the
surrounding residential area.”
Other newly-constructed commercial lots along Dallas and
Trowbridge are expected to be available for sale this fall.
Bruchman said the developer holds
letters of intent for retail businesses intending to come to Badger Mountain
South, but cannot yet disclose any specifics until a purchase and sale
agreement is in place.
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