By Kristi Pihl, December 17, 2014, Tri-City Herald
Demolition will start soon to remove the final buildings and concrete slabs in the way of a future boutique wine development on Kennewick’s Columbia Drive.
Tuesday, the Port of Kennewick commission unanimously awarded a $158,600 contract to Big D’s Construction of Pasco.
Some of the demolition is needed so that the city of Kennewick can begin landscaping along Columbia Drive for the planned development, said Larry Peterson, the port’s director of planning and development.
The port and city have worked together to jump start the revitalization of Columbia Drive between the cable bridge and the causeway to Clover Island.
Officials want to attract and incubate small wineries that will produce wine at Columbia Gardens, the six acres of port-owned land in the middle of Columbia Drive that used to be Beaver Furniture and the dilapidated Chieftain Apartments.
The port already has worked with contractors to deal with asbestos in seven buildings on Columbia Drive, said Amber Hanchette, the port’s director of real estate and operations.
Port commissioners set aside $350,000 for building and site demolition work, Hanchette said. That includes engineering and the demolition.
The engineer’s estimate for the demolition was $320,000. The port received five bids, all under the estimate.
Some buildings already have been removed in recent years, leaving behind foundations and concrete slabs on some properties.
Among the buildings to be demolished are the former Labor Ready building at 219 E. Columbia Dr., the former pawn shop at 307 E. Columbia Dr. and the former Charlie’s Automotive at 421 E. Columbia Dr.
The port plans to build two boutique winery buildings and one building for barrel storage where Charlie’s Automotive used to be, Peterson said. There would be outdoor seating areas near the waterfront and near the Duffy’s Pond trail.
Workers also will take down two former rental units and a laundry room that were part of the Chieftain Apartments.
A building at 211 E. Columbia Dr. will be remodeled, but workers will remove a shed next to it. The old house at the former Cable Green’s Mini Golf also will be torn down, she said.
Big D’s Construction will be able to recycle some of the concrete for sidewalk projects, Hanchette said.