Building into a mountain

RICHLAND, Wash. - The project will be like nothing we've seen before here in the Tri-Cities.

The Meadow Hills condo project has come under fire the past few years. It's finally set for approval by Richland City Council.
Which has some neighbors seeing red.

Patrick Milliken joined forces with fellow neighbors living below the hillside -- to fight the project. He said, "to build a large complex like this would be to the detriment of the homeowners around here and actually to the city of Richland."

But whether it's high rise condos or single family homes, Richland says the land will be developed. Over the past ten years, neighbors were told of the intention before the sale of a home.

Architect Terrence Thornhill designed the complex. He understands the neighbors' concerns.

He said, "There has been some vocal opposition, some neighbors that are concerned about their environment and their community, and that's all justified."

Terrence says he kept those concerns in mind when designing the building to incorporate the view line, environment, habitats and future nature trails. Not an easy thing to do considering the building will be a total of seven stories tall.

The only other building that comes close to matching the condo complex in terms of height is the US courthouse and Federal building in downtown. Seven stories can be anywhere between 70 and 84 feet tall top to bottom. Putting a building this size into the side of a mountain isn't as difficult as you would think.

Four buildings will go up with a total of 33 units built into the hill. Each story, slightly on top of the other fanning down the hill. Only the elevator will stand a true 7 stories tall, tucked into the rock.

Terrance said,"You're only ever going to see about a residential scale unit above the hillside."

Masking the large structure, continuing to offer a great view up or down.

He continues, "I think it's time the Tri-Cities has something that's appreciable."

Bring a style of construction to south Richland that you only find in advanced urban centers.

Once the project gets final approval, construction will could begin as early as late spring of next year.

Each of the four buildings will be built one at a time.