Plans for Vista Field Airport finally taking flight - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Plans for Vista Field Airport finally taking flight

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KENNEWICK, WA - It's a project that's been in the works for quite some time now: re-purposing the old Vista Field Airport in Kennewick.

Today marked a moment of progress for the long-awaited revamp, and reporter Jaclyn Selesky learned that the purpose for today's meeting was to make sure that the draft master plan for this project is as tuned up as possible before it's presented to the City of Kennewick for their approval.

The Port of Kennewick closed Vista Field in December of 2013, and say while the redevelopment project is moving forward, it's still going to take some time before any construction projects start.

It's been a while since we heard of any updates, so what's been the holdup? The Port of Kennewick Commissioners say that they are creating something that's never been done before, so they really have nothing to compare it to. Working with the city and consultants, dealing with zoning and code enforcement is a lengthy process.

"If everything goes well, we're hoping that we can potentially put out bids for construction the fall of this year," said Port of Kennewick Commission President, Skip Novakovich. "But again, we don't really want to do things right now, we want to do them the right way. So it may take time to do that. Do you want quality or do you want something that's done speedily? And we believe we want to offer this community something of a very high caliber."

Let's jump forward to the far future so you can know what kinds of things you'll see in this new "mini city". Walkable, narrow streets are a huge focus because they want it to feel like a downtown area where you don't have to drive anywhere...with specialty shops, restaurants, a performing arts center, and residential areas.

One of the main reasons for re-purposing the airport is they want to create a central hub for the Tri-Cities.

As of right now, there's no estimated date as to when this project will be complete. Novakovich says it could take up to 20 years, but as for when construction can begin, he says if all goes smoothly, Phase One could begin this fall.

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