Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. has leased the former Pier 1 building at 1232 N. Columbia Center Blvd., near Columbia Center mall in Kennewick.
Argo Kennewick LLC, which owns the property, signed a lease with Ulta on July 26. Longtime tenant Pier 1 closed in 2020 after a protracted going-out-of-business sale triggered by the bankruptcy and liquidation of its parent.
Ulta secured permits to remodel the building from the city of Kennewick. The work is valued at $935,000.
The lease was filed with the Benton County Auditor’s office. While agreements between private parties aren’t typically considered public, leases are sometimes filed with public agencies to meet legal requirements. In the Ulta case, it wanted to be assured it would continue to be able to use the property even if its landlord defaults on a loan from Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California that is secured by the site.
Ulta is based in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and has several stores in the Tri-Cities, including across the street at Columbia Center in a parking lot pad.
BoxLunch, a pop culture gift store, has opened at Columbia Center mall, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., in Kennewick.
The store offers licensed apparel, accessories, collectibles, beauty, home goods and gift and novelty merchandise.
It’s located next door to Victoria’s Secret.
For every $10 spent at the store or online, BoxLunch helps provide a meal secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.
The new store celebrated its grand opening Oct. 9-10.
Call 509-396-2068 or go to boxlunch.com.
Columbia Banking System Inc. of Tacoma and Umpqua Holdings Corp. of Portland have entered a merger agreement to create a $50 billion regional bank.
The transaction is expected to close in mid-2022, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.
The agreement was approved by the boards of both companies. The completed deal will result in an institution with customers in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Nevada. Cort O’Haver, president and CEO of Umpqua, will serve as executive chairman. Clint Stein, president and CEO of Columbia, will serve as CEO.
The combined holding company will operate as Columbia Banking System Inc. with headquarters in Tacoma. The bank will operate under the Umpqua Bank name with headquarters in Portland.
Both banks operate in the Tri-Cities.
The Port of Benton received a $3.2 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to provide electrical, lighting and guidance system upgrades at the Richland Airport.
The port will use the money to replace existing medium-intensity runway lighting and make electrical room modifications to equipment that is decades old. This follows a prior FAA award in June 2021 for lighting design and implements the full project scope.
The lighting and electrical replacement project and construction is planned for June-December 2022, depending upon availability of equipment and materials.
Anyone in the state is eligible to apply for a loan to repair or replace their septic system.
Commercial properties and non-owner occupied properties also may qualify.
About a third of Washington homes use septic systems for wastewater treatment.
The Regional On-Site Sewage System Loan Program has expanded statewide, effective Sept. 1.
It’s a partnership between the state Department of Ecology, Department of Health, local county and health departments and Craft3, a nonprofit community lender.
It is not uncommon for a new septic system to cost $20,000 or more, making it a substantial investment that many homeowners cannot afford on their own.
Established in 2016, the loan program has helped nearly 1,200 homeowners repair or replace their septic systems, a value of $26.7 million. Combined, these systems treat 154 million gallons of wastewater annually.
Previously, Craft3 offered loans on a more-limited basis in partnership with specific counties.
For more information or to apply, go to bit.ly/SepticLoan.
The state Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) led a multi-state investigation into a mortgage company who allegedly violated federal advertising laws.
DFI joined regulators from 11 other states signed a settlement agreement with Rocket Mortgage LLC, formerly known as Quicken Loans, LLC.
It requires Rocket Mortgage to pay a penalty of $500,000 to the participating states and establishes improved advertising standards going forward.
It also requires the mortgage company “to clearly and conspicuously disclose discount points” associated with the advertised interest rate and the dollar cost consumers must pay to obtain the discounted interest rate.
Rocket Mortgage also has agreed to stop certain advertising practices related to adjustable-rate mortgages that the participating states contended may be false, deceptive and misleading to consumers. The settlement also requires Rocket Mortgage to update telemarketing scripts used by mortgage loan originators to remove talking points that the participating states asserted violate federal law.
The Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission secured land near Kennewick’s Vista Field for a future facility serving women and children.
While work won’t begin before 2022, the ministry that operates programs for both men and women in Pasco closed a pair of deals to purchase about 3.5 undeveloped acres at 533 N. Young St. and 553 N. Young St. in August.
The seller was a liquidating trust associated with the Kennewick Public Hospital District bankruptcy.
Andy Porter, executive director, said the mission intends to create a center for women and children to complement the existing facility in Pasco. Details won’t be worked out until next year.
Officials plan a virtual dedication ceremony for the Energy Sciences Center at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on Oct. 29.
Research in the ESC on the Richland campus will help meet the nation’s decarbonization goals by developing alternatives to carbon-based fuels, providing improved methods for capturing carbon dioxide and turning waste carbon into fuels and products.
With core funding of $90 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science for the facility’s construction, the ESC will house a suite of specialized scientific instruments.
The state’s Clean Energy Fund invested $8 million, Battelle Memorial Institute committed $5 million, and PNNL invested $7 million in new cutting-edge technologies, making it one of the most advanced facilities in the world.
The center also consolidates much of PNNL’s related expertise under one roof.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues organizations are seeing unexpected and, challenging effects on their programs.
Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity recently began sharing about how the effect of rising lumber and building supply prices have had on its homes-in-progress.
This message hit home with 3 Rivers Community Foundation (3RCF) donors who contributed $100,000 to the nonprofit.
“Supplies that used to cost $8,700 per home have skyrocketed to about $20,000 per home,” said Jet Richardson, executive director of Habitat.
Richardson said the donation toward Habitat’s campaign goal of $200,000 will help to cover lumber packages for the next 10 homes.
3RCF offers a variety of philanthropic options to donors large and small, including pooling individual donations, to create a larger impact, creating an endowed fund to support perpetual gifts or scholarships, or facilitating anonymous or complex gifts.
To learn more about philanthropy go to 3rcf.org or call 509-735-5559.
To support Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity, go to habitatbuilds.com.
Prosser City Hall has temporarily moved to 1002 Dudley Ave. after a May 8 commercial fire in the downtown area destroyed city facilities.
City Hall doors remain closed to the public, however, due to the ongoing rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in the community.
City staff are available by appointment only. Contact City Hall at 509-786-2332 to schedule.
Per CDC guidelines, face masks are required in all city facilities.
Many of city services remain available online at cityofprosser.com, including applying for a business license and building permit.
The night dropbox for utility payments is still available at the train depot parking lot at 1230 Bennett Ave.
For all other general business questions, call 509-786-1500.
The Oct. 1-3 Fall Home Show was canceled due to the rising number of local Covid-19 cases and hospitalization rates.
The annual event is hosted by the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities and typically draws about 125 exhibitors and thousands of attendees to the HAPO Center in Pasco.
“Given the current climate, our board, sponsors and exhibitors have expressed concerns with moving forward with the show. The risk is too great at this time given the recent number of super spreader events in Washington. Our organization is disappointed by the cancellation, and we know our participating exhibitors, sponsors and regular attendees share that sentiment,” said Jeff Losey, executive director.
HBA said it will honor vouchers for the 2021 show at its 2022 Regional Home & Garden Show or the 2022 Fall Home Show.
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