West Richland will accept public comment through Tuesday on a proposed residential and commercial project near Van Giesen Street and Ruppert Road as the city reviews a preliminary plat for the project. The proposed Red Mountain Center project includes single and multi-family housing, retail and light industrial development on more than 300 acres of land owned by real estate developers MacKay & MacDonald, of Vancouver. The plan is to develop 470 lots for single-family homes and 22 lots for apartments, public and commercial use, said Todd Stowell, West Richland's senior planner. A school and public park is also included in the plans. "It is good for the community," he said. The Port of Kennewick leased 12 acres of land in the area a few months ago to Pacific Rim Wine Co. after the port and the developers swapped parcels of land. The developers are paving 1,500 feet of Keene Road to provide access to the port's property. That's also abonus for the city, said Dan Cryer, port's director of operations. The port's original 11.3-acre plot fronting Van Giesen was deemed to be in the commercial zone, said port Executive Director Tim Arntzen. The port agreed to take a 15-acre parcel in the adjacent light industrial zone, Arntzen said. The exchange also helped the developers consolidate its holdings. As part of the lease agreement, the wine company will set up three wineries in the next seven years, Cryer said. Up to 15 jobs will be created after the first winery goes up, he added. Dan MacKay, a partner in MacKay & MacDonald, said his company is moving cautiously on the project. MacKay said he hasn't worked out the total cost of the project, because work will be completed in increments over a long period of time. The road, scheduled to be completed in June, is costing the company a little less than a million dollars, he said. There's a possibility that the company may sell parts of this huge project to other builders, MacKay said. "Our schedule is evolving," he said. Stowell said after getting input from residents and various public agencies, the city will review the plan and follow it up with an environmental assessment. In the past, water and drainage issues may have caused some concern in the area, but the developer has agreed to make several water, sewer and street improvements, he said. As the property develops, the city's tax base will develop substantially, Stowell said, adding that the final plans could be reviewed by West Richland City Council in less than two months. By Pratik Joshi, Tri-City Herald Staff Writer Posted by Colleen Lane on
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