Articles by Wendy Culverwell

Montana-based Local Bounti paid $3.1 million for 28 acres at Oregon Avenue and A Street north of Big Pasco Industrial Park. The indoor ag startup raises lettuce and herbs in high-tech greenhouses. (Courtesy Local Bounti)

Montana ag company plans $40M Pasco greenhouse on heels of $1.1B IPO

A Montana startup that raises lettuce and herbs in high-tech greenhouses is coming to the Tri-Cities on the heels of a merger that will take the company public with a valuation of $1.1 billion. Local Bounti, launched in Hamilton, Montana, in 2018 by a pair of former energy industry executives, will build the first of…

Reser’s Fine Foods broke ground in June on a 250,000-square-foot processing plant on North Capital Avenue, near its existing 110,500-square-foot plant in the Pasco Processing Center. The existing plant will be repurposed when the new one opens. (Photo by Wendy Culverwell)

Reser’s Fine Foods begins 250,000-square-foot plant in Pasco

A Portland food manufacturer known for its potato salad is expanding in the Mid-Columbia with a new processing plant in Franklin County, just north of the Pasco city border. Reser’s Fine Foods broke ground on a 250,000-square-foot plant on North Capital Avenue, east of Highway 395, shortly after it closed a $3 million deal for…

One of the Tri-Cities’ signature events, Water Follies, returns July 23-25 after being canceled in 2020. It attracts thousands to the riverside for hydroplane races and an air show. (Courtesy Water Follies)

Visit Tri-Cities drops membership dues as it pivots to storytelling model

Visit Tri-Cities, the tax- and fee- funded agency responsible for putting heads in hotel beds, is dropping its paid membership model in favor of a storytelling approach that includes high-quality videos and images. The shift away from the $250 “basic” membership program ($185 for nonprofits) began before the Covid-19 pandemic knocked the industry to its…

Corvettes on the Columbia returns to the Tri-Cities in September after being canceled in 2020. Above, a vintage model is displayed during the 2019 gathering, which raised $145,000 for Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington. (Courtesy Tom McKenna)

Corvette owners have a wish for Make-A-Wish

Corvettes on the Columbia, a long-running celebration of all things Corvette and a major fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington, returns in September after organizers were forced to cancel the 2020 event because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 3 Rivers Corvette Club will hold the 2021 edition – its 11th – from Sept. 10-11. It…

Courtesy Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Ste. Michelle’s $1.2 billion sale will be felt in the Mid-Columbia

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Washington’s largest winery by far, will join a corporate stable that includes consumer-focused brands such as Ann Taylor Loft, Torrid and Hot Topic under a $1.2 billion deal announced July 9. Altria Group Inc., parent to the Woodinville-based winery, said it had reached an agreement to sell Ste. Michelle Estates to…

The Kennewick office of Boise-based J-U-B Engineers Inc. moved to a new building at 3611 S. Zintel Way in June. It is the first move since the employee-owned company opened a Tri-Cities office in 1977 and reflects growth in demand for its civil engineering and planning services. (Courtesy J-U-B Engineers Inc.)

J-U-B Engineers moves to new Kennewick office

The civil engineers and designers in the Kennewick office of J-U-B Engineers have lent their expertise to almost every aspect of the locally-built environment. They work on water and wastewater plants, roads and bridges, aviation projects, site development and plenty more. And now, for the first time since the Kennewick office opened near West Clearwater…

TCAJOB file photo

Tax-paying arm of LDS church wins auction for Easterday farmlands

Farmland Reserve Inc., a Utah-based nonprofit related to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was the winning bidder at a June 17 bankruptcy auction for the 22,500-acre collection of Benton County farms owned by Easterday Ranches Inc. and Easterday Farms. Easterday, a fourth-generation, family-owned agriculture giant based in Franklin County, collapsed after Tyson…

Darigold, the Seattle dairy cooperative owned by 350 Northwest farm families, will build North America's largest dairy processing plant in Pasco under a deal approved July 1 by the Port of Pasco. Darigold operates a plant in Sunnyside, shown above. (Courtesy Darigold)

Updated: Darigold picks Pasco for $500M protein and butter plant

Darigold Inc. will build its largest ever milk drying plant in Pasco, cementing the city’s status as one of the Northwest’s leading centers for food processing. If completed,150 acres at the Port of Pasco’s future Reimann Industrial Center off Highway 395 will become home to the largest protein and butter plant of its type in…

Applebee's restaurant at 606 N. Columbia Center Drive renewed its lease in Kennewick after tough negotiations led its landlord to list the property for sale.

Applebee’s renews Kennewick lease after landlord put its building on market

The Kennewick Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar is staying put after tough lease renewal negotiations prompted its landlord to enlist NAI Tri-Cities to market its building to new tenants.  Applebee’s at 606 N. Columbia Center Blvd. was pitched as a highly-visible retail location with nearly 33,000 vehicles passing by each day and asking rent of…

Courtesy Scott Butner Photography

Washington ag is ready to put pests, plague and politics in rearview mirror

How tough was 2020 for Northwest agriculture? This tough: Discovery+ is streaming “Attack of the Murder Hornets,” a 90-minute documentary about the hunt for bee-murdering, crop-threatening Asian giant hornets in Washington state. The documentary crew followed Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and his team of hornet hunter-eradicators as they…

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