West Richland annexing Tri-City Raceway, wine village next?

PASCO, Wash. -- It's been roughly ten years since stock cars tore up the track at West Richland's Tri-City Raceway. But now, the city is annexing the land and opening the doors for development.

The old racetrack that sits at the corner of Keene Road and Van Giesen has long been out of service.

A lone eagle now guards a once roaring speedway, now overgrown with weeds. The land is being annexed into West Richland. And the city intends to make it one more facet of our region's growing wine industry.

"What it's going to mean is jobs. And a lot more activity out in that area," says West Richland's Planning Manager Nicole Stickney.

The Port of Kennewick bought the land five years ago. Now it's tying in utilities from the city.

"Our mission is to create benefit for our taxpayers and the community. And that's really what this opportunity is," said Tana Bader-Inglima with the Port.

West Richland hopes one of those uses is a wine village.
The master plan is still in the works, but development could start within the next year. Officials with the city say the land it situated perfectly for a transition into viticulture.

"Grapes are being grown here at the Red Mountain AVA and also in the Columbia Valley. And there's Yakima Valley grapes that are coming into our city and being processed. And so, we might as well process them here, have the jobs here, we'd love to see tasting rooms as well," Stickney added.

And so this overgrown jungle of concrete could could be a vineyard in just a few years.

Annexing the land won't cost West Richland anything, just a lot of paperwork. The city expects large tax benefits from the development.
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