KENNEWICK, WA - It's been a project years in the making, and finally we're at the stage of starting to see a change of scenery at Kennewick's Vista Field site.
The old airport closed in 2013, and the space has been empty ever since. More than a hundred acres right in the middle of Kennewick, sitting empty.
But if everything goes as planned, in the next year it's going to start looking a whole lot different.
With the Port of Kennewick and Kennewick City Council coming together at last night's council meeting, it signaled the end of the planning stages and the start of the construction stage for phase one of the project.
It's going to be a multi-phased project, with phase one consisting of about 20 acres of land.
The development is going to be mixed use, meaning businesses like stores, restaurants, bars, and other retailers mixed in with residences like apartments and condos.
The deputy CEO for the Port of Kennewick says they're excited, but the public shouldn't expect to see shovels in the ground quite yet.
"We can start into the construction phase," said Tana Bader Inglima. "And that doesn't mean that tomorrow bulldozers will begin, but what that does mean is we can begin finalizing the biddable construction documents and then getting that out to bid by next summer, hopefully having some bulldozers moving dirt later next fall."
Inglima says a few groups have expressed interest in moving into areas just outside the development, with Chuck E. Cheese already planning on moving into a new location right by Vista Field.
The Vista Arts Center Task Force has formally committed being in the center of the development, and Inglima says the task force will develop the arts center as soon as phase one of the development is finished.
12-12-17 ORIGINAL STORY:
KENNEWICK, WA - Tonight, the Port of Kennewick presented the final plans for the Vista Field site to the Kennewick City Council.
The Port will give the council the steps forward tonight with a timeline, estimated budget, and other info being presented to the council.
The Port closed Vista Field on December 31st of 2013, because it was losing money on average of about $10,000 a year over the last decade.
Tonight marks a transition point, leaving the drawings and plans stage and entering the construction and building phase of the project.
"This is that final culmination, and really is the first thing that needs to happen before we can start putting shovels in the ground and getting some construction happening," said Tana Bader Inglima, Deputy CEO with the Port of Kennewick. "So the meeting tonight is well worth attending if you have an interest in Vista Field and that redevelopment at all, this is a chance to come out and see that that process is completed."
Tomorrow, we're taking a deeper look into what that timeline will be exactly as we get closer to construction starting on the old airfield site.