Starbucks Co. and Habit Burger expect to join MOD Pizza in a new strip mall taking shape in front of JCPenney at Columbia Center in Kennewick.
The 7,363-square-foot building is being built on land recently sold to a Yakima developer known for building strip malls and hotels.
Hogback Development Co., led by Chris Waddle, bought a portion of the parking lot from JCPenney for $1.1 million on Dec. 17, the same day the city of Kennewick issued a permit for the $700,000 project at 1659 N. Columbia Center Blvd.
The new owner isn’t yet posted in Benton County property records, but a real estate excise tax statement confirms JCPenney sold a portion of the land.
The building will include three spaces and a drive-thru.
Hogback Development is primarily focused on projects in Yakima, but has at least one other active development in the Tri-Cities. It developed Sandifur Crossing, a 13.5-acre continuing development at Road 68. Anchored by Grocery Outlet, the latest phase added Porter’s Real Barbecue and Jamba to Pasco in November.
MOD Pizza confirmed it will open at the Columbia Center site in August. The Seattle-based made-to-order chain opened its first Tri-City restaurant in 2017 at Richland’s Queensgate district and has expressed an interest in opening multiple locations in the Mid-Columbia.
A spokeswoman for Habit Burger said the lease isn’t finalized at Columbia Center, but the California burger chain hopes to make its Tri-City debut this summer.
Habit Burger dishes up flame-cooked burgers, sandwiches and salads at seven Puget Sound area restaurants but has not yet arrived in Eastern Washington.
Founded in 1969 in Santa Barbara, California, Habit Burger will be a corporate sibling to KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell under a $375 million acquisition by Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) announced on Jan. 6.
A spokesperson for Seattle-based Starbucks confirmed it will open its newest Kennewick location this summer. Starbucks has more than 13 Tri-City locations.
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