A couple of weeks back, more than 300 Tri Citians were present during the Tri Cities Regional Economic Outlook, and they heard some wonderful news. According to business leaders who attended the meeting, they are expecting a significant growth in tourism, health care, retail, manufacturing, and agriculture. That would mean more jobs for Tri Citians and even for people who are looking at the possibility of relocating to the Tri Cities.
In 2013, newly opened restaurants, retail stores, booming car sales, and construction of new homes and medical buildings buoyed retail sales in the Tri Cities. Barbara Johnson, general manager of Columbia Center Mall, confirmed this. These industries are set for uphill climbing, along with the local job market, which is showing more optimism and confidence.
In fact, regional labor economist for Benton and Franklin counties Ajsa Suljic expects an average Tri City job growth of 1.7 percent each year for the next couple of years.
Because of the significant increase in physician specialists and a range of medical services being offered, Tri Citian are now opting to stay in town for health care. Even people from outside the Tri Cities are coming in for treatments. If this keeps up a steady pace, there will be more jobs for health professionals, which would have a positive effect on the economy.
Tourists are expected to troop to the Tri Cities, even though the Tri Cities still needs a winery row, a waterfront area, a performing arts center, and public plaza. Once these are in effect, the region is expected to draw even more tourists.
In 2013, 1,024 building permits were issued to Tri City homes, with majority of the homes being built in Kennewick and Richland. As a result, 3,296 sales were closed that year, and that is the highest level of activity the region has seen in the last six years.
According to Jeff Losey, executive director of Home Builders Association of Tri Cities, they are expecting more new homes to be built this year. So this is very good news not only to construction firms but to real estate agents and realtors as well.
Keep visiting this blog as we will regularly post updates regarding the state of the Tri Cities economic growth and how this will pan out for Tri Citians.
by Colleen Lane
The Lane Real Estate Team
(509) 438-9344 - Colleen cell
Feel free to call or text!