The 60-ft. easement that the Richland City Council voted to give away at their March 1 meeting will be used, along with adjacent property, to build a “very high-end condo” next to the Hampton Inn, according to a report today in the Tri-City Herald.
Only Councilmember Jhoanna Jones voted no to the giveaway. The easement connected Bradley Boulevard to the riverfront trail. In information provided to the public on March 1, the easement was described as being for public access and utilities.
Project Manager Steve Hudson described the 26 to 30 condos in a five-story, 31,400 square-foot building as being very high end.
The developer, Cedar and Sage Homes, will also build 144 high-end apartments on the five acres across the street from the condos between Bradley Blvd. and George Washington Way. The developer will create a new pedestrian path to the river, according to the report.
Without the pedestrian path, apartment dwellers would have to access the river at Howard Amon Park. The city-owned, riverfront property south of the Riverfront Hotel on Bradley was recently rezoned from parkland to commercial development putting the public access there in jeopardy.
Will the pedestrian access be for public use? And will there be parking there for the public using the access?
The owners and developers will have control. The city gave up all rights.
Hopefully there’s access for the public. I’m eager to see what they do with the riverfront property just south of that ( between Columbia Point and The Riverfront Hotel). Any word on what they plan on doing with that Randy? Thank you.
Hi NIcholas, thanks for reading the Observer. Since a developer now controls the easement that had been for public access, there is no guarantee that the pedestrian path they build will be available to the public. When Planning Director Pete Rogalsky justified the give-way, he said that it wasn’t that far to Howard Amon Park. Apparently, the developer of the condo and apartments feels that it may be too far for his apartment tenants. I have no idea why the city wouldn’t have negotiated to retain 10-feet for pedestrian access in return for turning over the other 50 feet. The last information on the land south of the Riverfront Hotel was that the developer wanted to build apartments but made no commitment to build the commercial development the city wants on the riverside so negotiations have seemed to stall on that. That commercial development would go along with the dock that the American Cruise Line was *supposed* to build, according to Parks and Facilities Director Joe Schiesll in Jan. 2021, despite having no contractual obligation to do so whatsoever. Remember, ACL has leased the Lee Street dock for 15 years starting at $45,000 a year. The city even provides maintenance. Why would they build a dock that would cost at least a million dollars? Parks and Facilities Director Joe Schiessl admitted a couple of months later, that no, Richland or the Corps of Engineers would build the dock. And so it goes at the city of Richland. Again, thanks for reading the Observer.