By Frances Watson, August 15, 2013, KEPR TV
Kennewick’s riverfront revitalization of Columbia Drive is really starting to pick up. Port leaders just approved a wine village.
It all started with Clover Island, building a lighthouse, improving the shoreline and adding restaurants, then moved over to Duffy’s Pond off Columbia Drive. The community banding together with port officials to clean it up. It prompting the Port to come up with a revitalization plan.
That will eventually end up, in Downtown Kennewick, where the Port is working with the city to give the area a make over and much needed boost.
They plan on turning this entire part of Kennewick a tourist destination. Not only making money but restoring pride in the community.
Though nothing is official, the Port does have some ideas on what the area would look like.
Expanding existing walking trails is at the top of the list, and adding
access to Catfish Island in Duffy’s Pond.
Attractions would include theatres, skating rinks and restaurants.
Even a gondola taking riders over the area could be here.
Neighbor Sandy Wran said,”I love being outside, I love eating outside, sitting outside, enjoying.”
Office buildings, shops and even condos are on the table. A new wine village development building was just added to the plans.
The Port will commit over a million dollars to it once grant funding comes in.
Tana Inglima with the Port said, “What we’ve been trying to do here is look for opportunities on the waterfront that will create opportunities for jobs and new businesses.”
Dilapidated buildings along Columbia Drive started coming down this year. You may remember the SWAT team using some as target practice. They’ve gotten rid of more than just eyesores. Officials say, it’s also cut down on crime.
Tana said,”You’re going to see some things happening here beyond just talking old buildings down I think in the very near future.”
The locals are on board.
Lydia Schilling said,”Anything that can open up the area for more attractions would be a good thing.”
That good thing could change the face of Kennewick near Clover Island.
The Port will finalize its master plan for this area in the near future.