Articles by Wendy Culverwell

The window of a home under construction on Thebes Street in West Richland frames a view of Red Mountain. (Photo by Kristina Lord)

Market Overview: 2021: The year the Tri-Cities hit 300,000 – and its stride

History will remember the early 2020s for the devastating coronavirus pandemic, the shutdowns, the economic chaos. It would be easy to assign the booming construction scene of 2021 to a Covid-19 recovery. The bounce back may be real, but population and job growth are the real drivers of the diverse array of construction occurring in…

Residential development south of Bob Olson Parkway in the Southridge area of Kennewick. (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

Residential Growth: Tight home supply drives up prices

Homebuilders face familiar headwinds in 2021 – finding enough places to build new homes, hiring enough workers to build them and sourcing enough building materials to build with. Add in Washington’s new energy code, which took effect this year, and it’s a challenging time to be a residential developer. But the local and regional builders…

Warehouse facility under construction near 2000 block of Robertson Drive, adjacent to American Rock Products, in Richland.  (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

Commercial Real Estate: Private investment dominates commercial picture, for now

Private investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Tri-City commercial construction in a shift from recent years, when school construction and public projects, such as Richland’s Duportail Street bridge and fire stations, dominated the sector. Fueled by low interest rates and a backlog of projects booked in the busy pre-pandemic days, privately funded…


Amazon confirms massive distribution plans for Pasco

Amazon Inc. confirmed Sept. 16 that it will open two distribution centers, each more than 1 million square feet, on South Road 40 East, north of Sacajawea State Park in Pasco. The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business first reported the news of the massive projects in its August edition. At the time, Seattle-based Amazon did…

Earth moving equipment prepares the site of one of the two Amazon distribution centers being built along South Road 40 East in Pasco. (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

City of Pasco: $150M in city projects on deck for next year

Pasco will begin construction on a new home for the Tri-Cities Animal Control building by spring 2022. So says David Zabell, Pasco city manager. The animal control facility is by no means the largest or most complicated undertaking on the city’s $150 million capital projects list for the coming year. Water and wastewater plants hold…

The Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center is at 2140A Wine Country Road in Prosser. (File photo)

WSU Tri-Cities inks $25K lease for Walter Clore Center

  WSU Tri-Cities is setting up camp in Prosser. The school has agreed to lease the closed Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center from the Port of Benton for $25,000 a year. It will use it for wine and culinary education. The port originally built the 15,000-square-foot facility in 2014 to showcase the state’s wine…

30% increase in the cost of construction prompted Chaplaincy Health Care to temporarily shelve construction of a 10-bed hospice house at the Richland Wye. (Courtesy Chaplaincy Health Care)

Chaplaincy delays hospice project over rising costs

Chaplaincy Health Care is delaying construction of a 10-bed hospice house at the Richland Wye after construction estimates rose 30% past the $5 million price tag. The nonprofit intended to begin construction on a replacement for Chaplaincy Hospice House this fall at 1336 Spaulding Ave., near its Fowler Street administrative office. Instead, it will make…

Christopher Ingersoll is the fourth-generation owner of Farmers Exchange in downtown Kennewick. Ingersoll purchased the business from his uncle, Keith Silliman, in a deal that closed Oct. 1. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Farmers Exchange changes owners as fourth – and fifth – generations step in

Farmers Exchange, the iconic purveyor of lawnmowers, chainsaws, trimmers, animal feed and garden supplies, has passed to a new generation. Christopher Ingersoll, great grandson of one of the original owners of the Kennewick business, bought it from his uncle, Keith Silliman, in a deal that closed Oct. 1. Silliman said he was thrilled to pass…


Gravis Law expands into rural powerhouse

Gravis Law PLLC, a Richland-based firm with 48 attorneys in multiple offices, is positioning itself as a national brand bringing legal services to underserved rural communities. In January, it completed a transaction to bring the legal team from a Kennewick firm, Hames, Anderson, Whitlow and O’Leary, into the business. The move gives Gravis an office…

Marty Conger is restarting the push to raise money for Fuse Fund, an initiative of Richland’s Fuse SPC business incubator to invest in promising local businesses. The fund raised nearly $1.5 million of its $2 million goal but slowed efforts because of the pandemic.(TCAJOB file photo)

Fuse Fund restarts capital drive as pandemic inspires entrepreneurs

Fuse Fund is restarting its push to raise $2 million to invest in promising local companies after early pandemic shutdowns forced a slowdown. The fund is operated by Fuse Advisors, a subsidiary of Richland’s Fuse SPC. Fuse SPC, housed at Richland’s Parkway, is a special purpose company dedicated to providing space, mentors and education to…

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