Articles by Robin Wojtanik

Robin Wojtanik spent most of her career in broadcast journalism, working at television stations around the country. She spent nearly a decade managing newsrooms in the Tri-Cities and Yakima. She enjoys volunteering for Junior Achievement and Christ the King School and serves on the board for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Northwest chapter. She lives in Richland with her husband and children.
A longtime coffee roaster and distributor is moving to Richland and expanding to offer retail sales beyond its current wholesale deliveries. Treasure Valley Coffee expects its 17,000-square-foot building to be finished in late summer.

Kennewick coffee roaster to expand, open shop in Richland

A massive coffee bean roaster will need to be disassembled and moved to a new building in north Richland when Treasure Valley Coffee of the Columbia Basin opens its new headquarters, along with a retail store, in the Horn Rapids Business Park this summer. The $1.9 million investment includes land bought from the city of…

Packaging Corporation of America is set to close a deal with the city of Richland on a 42-acre site at 3003 Kingsgate Way in the Horn Rapids area. The Illinois-based company plans to build a 400,000-square-foot to 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

$1.9M land sale pending for packaging plant

A Midwest paper processing giant is preparing to build a large manufacturing plant in the Horn Rapids area of Richland, bringing with it about 150 family-wage jobs. Packaging Corporation of America, based in Illinois, is set to close on 42 acres in the Horn Rapids Industrial Park. The sale of the city-owned 3003 Kingsgate Way…

The Heatherstone Apartment complex in east Kennewick is undergoing a large remodel that will update all 455 units, thanks to a $19.8 million investment. New owners spent $41.6 million recently to buy the affordable housing complex that spans nearly 25 acres near Park Middle School. (Courtesy Security Properties Inc.)

New owners of Kennewick apartments to invest $19.8M to overhaul 455 units

A massive remodel totaling $19.8 million in improvements is underway at the Heatherstone Apartments in Kennewick, where work will continue through late spring 2020. All 38 residential buildings will receive interior and exterior renovations, including new roofs, siding, parking lots, garage space and landscaping. For the individual units, tenants will benefit from an overhaul to…

Remodeling is underway for the Tri-Cities’ second Bath & Body Works store. The store at Richland’s Vintner Square off Queensgate Drive will be in the western corner unit of the building that also houses Starbucks, Jamba Juice, GameStop and Fiesta Mexican Restaurant.

Bath & Body Works store to open in Richland next year

Construction is underway on the Tri-Cities’ second Bath & Body Works store, planned for the Queensgate area of Richland. The company’s corporate office said the store is scheduled to open in early 2019 at 2471 Queensgate Drive, Suite A7. The developer of the Vintner Square property, Bowman Development Co., narrowed the store’s opening date to…

As the lone regional, indoor shopping center, the Columbia Center mall in Kennewick fills with shoppers each holiday season. The National Retail Federation’s predicts a 4.1 percent increase in consumer spending for the 2018 holiday shopping season compared to last year.

Retail outlook strong for holiday season

Tri-City retailers are optimistic about the upcoming holiday shopping season. “Our market usually outperforms the national trend due to our strong local economy,” said Barbara Johnson, general manager of Columbia Center mall in Kennewick. “It’s always kind of like looking into a crystal ball. I’m expecting consumer spending locally to be up 4.5 percent over…

After 100 years as a family business, Kennewick’s True Value Washington Furniture and Hardware owner and general manager John Gravenslund has decided to pare back the store’s inventory and hours.

Kennewick hardware store changing gears after 100 years

The owner of a 100-year-old retail mainstay in downtown Kennewick is winding down operations. “Age and time and generations running out; the business is healthy, happy and doing great, but it’s just time for us to change course,” said John Gravenslund, owner and general manager of True Value Washington Furniture and Hardware. After three generations…

A new 14,000-square-foot building for the local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electricians is underway in Kennewick with a planned completion in summer 2019.

New $3.4M union hall under construction in Kennewick

An expansion plan approved nearly 20 years ago is underway for the local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. IBEW Local 112 is building a new $3.4 million union hall that includes an auditorium on vacant land at 114 N. Edison St. in Kennewick, just south of West Clearwater Avenue and east of…

The Kabob House will open in Richland’s Vintner Square at 2762 Duportail St. at the end of November and in Pasco’s Sandifur Crossing at 5802 Road 68 in early spring.

Regional Mediterranean restaurants coming soon to the Tri-Cities

The Tri-Cities soon will be welcoming two new Mediterranean restaurants known for their chicken kabobs, gyro sandwiches and shawarma plates. The Kabob House will open in Richland’s Vintner Square at 2762 Duportail St. at the end of November and in Pasco’s Sandifur Crossing at 5802 Road 68 in early spring. The Richland restaurant will be…

Benton and Franklin counties recorded 1,046 single-family home permits filed through August 2018, an 8 percent increase compared with the same period in 2017. The permits are valued at $617 million, a 14 percent increase compared with the same period’s total in 2017. (Photo: Shawna Dinh)

Market Overview: Tri-Cities boasts stable economy

More than 1,000 new homes have been built in the Tri-Cities since the start of 2018, but this is barely sustaining an appetite for housing in a market where supply can’t keep up with demand. “We are still in a very hot sellers’ market,” said Lola Franklin, chief executive officer of the Tri-City Association of…

After years of planning and efforts to secure funding, construction on the Duportail Bridge got underway in early 2018, with a planned finish date of 2020. (Photos: Scott Butner Photography)

City of Richland: big projects underway in central district

The opening of the Queensgate Drive roundabouts allowed Richland to wrap up one of its major capital projects in 2018, while shifting focus for the next six months on building its new City Hall. The central district is a part of town receiving more attention from the city after a surge of growth in south…

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Lourdes Health names new CEO

Yakima Federal Savings & Loan to build $2.2M branch in Queensgate area

Ground-breaking ceremony set for Vista Field redevelopment

Cascade Natural Gas requests rate increase

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Electrical companies fined for unlicensed work across state, in Tri-Cities

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Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program awards 2018

April 12 @ 8:00 am - April 22 @ 5:00 pm

Market Update: How Will it All End?

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