KENENWICK, Wash. – The Port of Kennewick just unveiled the development plans for the first phase of Vista Field.
"It's going to be a walkable, bike-able, transit-oriented livable gathering place for the community with some great vibrancy," said Tana Bader Inglima, deputy CEO of the Port of Kennewick.
What was once an old airfield will be transformed into a vibrant mix of commercial, residential and public space.
"This development plan mixes that all together and the city did a great job of working to try and completely rewrite their codebook for us to allow at Vista Field an urban mixed use,” Bader Inglima said. “It's a brand-new zoning that's going to create a development that’s unlike anything ever seen in the Tri-Cities before."
Phase one of the development is opening 20 acres of land, where the Port or Kennewick will create connectivity across the old airfield from Deschutes to Grandridge, laying the backbone for private investors to come in.
"The site is 103 acres, that is a huge amount of property and it will be market driven, so depending on how quickly things develop,” Bader Inglima said. “But that first 20 acres, the market is hot now, there's so much interest. I think we'll see some really cool stuff out there sooner rather than later."
The port intends to build water features throughout the space and park areas, making Vista Fields a place to bring the family or walk the dog. Traffic would only be allowed to drive at a walkable pace.
"So people can move easily in and out,” Bader Inglima explained. “It creates opportunities for gathering places for people to get to know their neighbors, to easily walk or bike among the neighborhoods."
Port officials said the vista field redevelopment project will attract new businesses and jobs on top of being a great new place for people to live work and play.
Port leaders stress that taxes will not be raised to fund this development. The port is taking a loan and paying as they go.
They hope to start the first phase of construction this fall. In total, there will be eight phases to complete the development, starting from the center, and building out. It could take five to seven years to finish and they estimate it will cost between $5-7 million.