Articles by Wendy Culverwell

Farm at Sunset, South Ritzville, Route 261, S.E. Washington

Politics, weather and inflation put the squeeze on Washington ag

Pam Lewison is of two minds when winter gives way to spring. She’s thrilled by the sweet smell of freshly plowed fields, the green fuzz in the orchards, the newborn livestock. She’s less thrilled by the daunting challenges facing Washington agriculture in 2022. The state’s 35,300 farms and ranches collectively raise more than 300 products.…

Container ships dock at the Port of Seattle in the shadow of the Space Needle. More containers left the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma empty in 2021 than full. For Washington exporters, lack of access to oceangoing vessels is a significant barrier to serving their overseas customers. (Courtesy Port of Seattle)

Value of ag exports is up, but there’s a hitch

Washington state saw the value of agriculture exports increase by more than $1 billion in 2021. There’s a big asterisk tied to the impressive $7.7 billion figure for agricultural products originating in Washington. “Be clear that while values are up, volumes are predominantly down,” said Rianne Perry, manager for international marketing at the Washington State…

The Port of Benton is developing a $2 million building to house the Hanford History Project, the first in a larger complex that will cater to STEM tourism in the Tri-Cities. (Courtesy Port of Benton)

$2 million building to house Hanford history, anchor STEM tourism

A new building in north Richland will bring the region’s atomic history under one roof and, officials hope, welcome tourists drawn by the community’s accomplishments in science, technology, engineering and math. The Port of Benton secured a permit to build a $2 million home for the Hanford History Project, currently housed at Washington State University…

Jose Ramirez of Ramgar Homes wants to raise the quality of homes in east Pasco. His first models sold for nearly $400,000, which the city of Pasco calls a “game changer.” (Photo by Wendy Culverwell )

East Pasco real estate takes off as new home prices approach $400K

A pair of homebuilders is drawing attention to east Pasco not as a center for warehouses and food processors, but as a hot spot for new homes with above-average price tags. The two builders – Ramgar Homes and Empire Bros Construction – are building homes with prices approaching $400,000 near East A Street and Heritage…

Stuart Logg is selling Basin Department Store, the family-owned business in downtown Kennewick after working there for 60 of the store’s 69 years. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Wanted: new owner for old-fashioned Kennewick store

  Basin Department Store, Kennewick’s source of work and safety equipment for nearly seven decades, is for sale. Stuart Logg has worked for the family business started by his father, Don, for 60 of its 69 years and says he’s ready to enjoy a relaxed retirement. The asking price of $1.95 million includes the building,…


SBA pivots to recovery after pumping $11B into Washington businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration is refocusing its work after an all-hands-on-deck campaign delivered billions in pandemic relief to American businesses, including $11 billion in Washington state. It is a “staggering” figure, said Mike Fong, the newly appointed director for Region X, covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. In Washington, SBA awarded 180,000 grants and…

Candy Mountain Academy, a new initiative serving school children with severe behavioral and emotional issues, will open Aug. 15 at 120 S. Fifth Ave. in Pasco. Brokers Todd Sternfeld and Kenny Teasdale of NAI Tri-Cities bought the building and are renovating it for their client, which is part of Educational District 123, based in Pasco. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Brokers push innovative new school over the finish line

A school catering to children with social and emotional issues will open in Pasco this summer thanks in part to the efforts of its real estate brokers. Candy Mountain Academy, which will serve children who can’t be treated in their home school district, is set to open Aug. 15 with 12 students at 120 S.…

Fowler Water Map

Water system supplier bets big on Tri-City growth

HD Fowler Co. is betting on Tri-City growth. The Bellevue-based company is expanding its Pasco location with a 17,000-square-foot office and shop to serve its growing business. HD Fowler provides pipes and other water system parts to area contractors and builders and has seen business soar since it first opened here in 2001. Jed Fowler,…

The original Grigg’s office building, 824 W. Lewis St., is getting a fashionable makeover with office suites, studio apartments, retail and restaurant space and a rooftop deck. (Courtesy Wave Design Group)

Urban renewal trend is coming to old Grigg’s building

A makeover is coming for an aging building that once served as offices for Grigg’s Department Store in downtown Pasco. The brick building at 824 W. Lewis St. is currently known chiefly as an outlet for Cricket Wireless. Building owners Brad Page and Charles Sumner announced plans in June for a mixed-use makeover that will…

Old Trapper Smoked Products, a beef jerky manufacturer based in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove, is preparing to buy 20 acres in Richland’s Horn Rapids Industrial Park for a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that will employ 100 to start. The $1.3 million sale goes to the Richland City Council for approval on May 17. (Courtesy city of Richland)

Jerky plant could bring 100+ jobs to Richland

Old Trapper Smoked Products Inc., a key player in the $4 billon meat snack industry, plans to build a large food processing plant in Richland. The company, based in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove, intends to build a 50,000-square-foot facility employing 100 to start at Horn Rapids Industrial Park. The payroll could grow to…

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