Focus Magazine

Washington is the nation’s largest producer of Concords — used primarily as a juice grape. More than half of the nation’s supply is grown in the state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Juicy fruit: State dominates U.S. for Concords

By Andy Perdue While the Washington wine grape market booms, even approaching the state apple industry in size and economic importance, there’s another grape industry that tops the nation in size: juice grapes. Last year, Concord grape growers brought in nearly 200,000 tons of fruit — 3 percent over the prior year, valued at $41.8…

Sarah Hedges Goedhart, head winemaker for Hedges Cellars on Red Mountain, walks through their organically farmed estate vineyard. (Photo by Andy Perdue)

Organic grapes: A natural tourist attraction

The growing number of organic grape-growing regions in the Northwest provide new opportunities for wine marketing around the popular buzzword “terroir,” according to a new study by a Washington State University Tri-Cities researcher. Derived from the French word “terre,” meaning “land,” “terroir” is used to denote the special characteristics of a place, said Byron Marlowe,…

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…

(Photo: Shawna Dinh)

Residential growth: climbing costs hinder homebuyers

A competitive sellers’ market in the Tri-Cities is creating bidding wars and raising prices of not only resale homes, but also the price of lots for new construction. Dave Retter, owner of Retter & Co. Sotheby’s International in Kennewick, said it’s not rare for a house to be listed at $190,000 and sell for $200,000…

The Southridge area of south Kennewick continues to see new commercial construction projects, like this new building for STCU credit union at 4842 W. Hildebrand Blvd. The Spokane-based credit union also has plans to open branches in Pasco and Richland. (Photo: Scott Butner Photography)

Commercial real estate: local businesses drive development

Despite quick turnover of limited commercial real estate inventory and an ongoing demand for construction services, the Tri-City commercial real estate market continues to boom. “There is definitely a steady volume of construction that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon,” said Scott Howard, executive director of the Tri-City Construction Council, the region’s plan…

TRI-CU Credit Union is building an 8,300-square-foot building at 3213 W. 19th Ave. in Kennewick. (Photo: Scott Butner Photography)

City of Kennewick: Southridge shows no signs of slowing

Commercial and residential growth remains strong in Kennewick, especially in the Southridge area, but city officials say its other areas also are seeing their fair share of activity. “The growth in Kennewick has been pretty strong in the last few years,” said Wes Romine, development services manager for the city of Kennewick. Commercial development is…

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…

Construction is a common sight between Road 100 and Road 68 in Pasco. The recently built Self-Storage at Chapel Hill at 615 Chapel Hill Blvd. includes 599 storage units and a retail strip mall with 8,000 square feet of space for lease. The project totaled $7.2 million. (Photo: G2 Construction)

City of Pasco: growth spurs economic development

By Arielle Dreher The city of Pasco is running out of room. So much so that the city has asked Franklin County to expand by more than 4,800 acres north of the current city limits. The growth in population is fueling large home developments as well as new school construction in the city. Pasco, population…

A yet-to-be-named elementary school is under construction at 2100 Sunshine Ave. in West Richland to support 600 students. It’s part of the “school-driven” commercial growth seen in the city, which has grown 4.5 percent year over year to 15,320 residents in 2018. (Photo: Richland School District)

City of West Richland: ‘bedroom community’ expands west

At 15,320 citizens strong, West Richland is looking to its undeveloped western end of town as the focus for future growth. “The center of town is pretty much built out,” said Aaron Lambert, West Richland’s community development director. What feels like the center of town for West Richland tends to be the area near Yoke’s…

The second phase of the Port of Kennewick’s Columbia Gardens Wine and Artisan Village is underway on Columbia Drive. It will feature a food truck plaza and a new tasting room building, scheduled for completion in 2019. (Photo: Port of Kennewick)

Port of Kennewick: progress continues on Columbia Gardens, Vista Field

The Port of Kennewick’s two biggest development projects aim to turn high-profile properties into thriving, multi-use areas that offer a sense of community. The port plans to seek bids by the end of 2018 for the first phase of the Vista Field redevelopment project, while the construction of infrastructure to support the second phase of…

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