Downtown Plaza Could Begin Construction in March 2016 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Downtown Plaza Could Begin Construction in March 2016

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YAKIMA, WA. -- The City of Yakima is working hard to fast track the downtown master plan to build a new plaza in Yakima. Construction on the project could begin faster than you think. 

Wednesday night, the city unveiled a preliminary timeline for the creation of the new downtown plaza. $800,000 has been budgeted to take the conceptual ideas approved by the city council and turn them into a full structural design. They hope to finish that by the end of the year.

Then the city is hoping they can hire a firm and begin construction by March of 2016. City Economic Development Manager Sean Hawkins says he's glad the city is taking the next step toward turning this idea into a reality. 

"It's exciting to be moving forward on this because there's been a lot of work put into it," Hawkins said. "But more than anything we don't want to wait five years to do this. It's about momentum and seizing the time and getting the project done."

Ever since the city council approved the conceptual designs last October, city workers have been fundraising to pay for the project. Sean Hawkins says they expect the project to cost up to $13-14 million. So far they have raised $9.2 million dollars in a combination of city funds and money from private partners.