Richland City leaders make big announcement - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland City leaders make big announcement

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Richland City leaders gathered Friday to celebrate the 8-month long project of opening up 1st Street to businesses wanting to set up in the Tri-Cities research district. But district employees had something even bigger to celebrate up their sleeves.

They announced a multi-million dollar investment has been made by two Western Washington businessmen to develop a clean technology innovation center. So far, the former executives at McCaw Cellular Communications have spent $8 million on land, designs and permits after first buying 89 acres in the North Richland area.

Everyone at the ribbon cutting said this could be huge for the Tri-Cities.

Rich Parsons is the Innovation Center Development Director. He says, "We know what we have, we've just never really gotten it out on the street. That's the big announcement. We have somebody who thinks the Tri-Cities is absolutely wonderful and is absolutely a wonderful place to do business."

City leaders also say this could help people find new work in the Tri-Cities as cleanup of the Hanford site could leave people without jobs in the future.

Right now developers are working on construction schedules and getting city permitting requirements out of the way.