Ground breaks for up and coming retail center in North Richland - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ground breaks for up and coming retail center in North Richland

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- It's no secret that Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Hanford, W-S-U Tri-Cities, and Energy Northwest attract many people to the Tri-Cities to work and live.

But the area near the Research District is mostly undeveloped. That's why the Port of Benton, City of Richland, and the Tri-Cities Research District are in the process of developing 90 acres of land between Highway 240 and George Washington Way off University Drive.

Thursday, the New Innovation Center held a ground breaking ceremony to signify the start of construction of it's new retail site, University Circle.

The plan is to bring in new retail businesses, restaurants, and even a 160-unit apartment complex to the area.

Doug Perry, the Managing Director for Shotgun Creek Investments, the developer working on this project says development is needed to recruit a talented workforce to our area.

"We're looking to provide coffee, gas, sandwich, and banking. All the amenities that the workers and the residents are looking for, that are having to travel outside the Research District to go get," says Perry.

Innovation Center has already invested more than $40-million to make the retail corridor happen. Perry says more than 17,000 cars drive by on Stevens Drive every day, and 9,700 on George Washington Way. The groundbreaking for the apartment complex is set for October.

To see plans, click here: