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Business Briefs – June 2021 –

Registration open for Fall Home Show in Pasco

The Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities is accepting registrations for its 2021 Fall Home Show, to be held Oct. 1-3 at HAPO Center in Pasco.

Exhibitor guides have been mailed to members and previous exhibitors. Digital copies are available at

Call 509-735-2745. HBA members receive a $100 discount on booth rentals.

Trios birthing center project tops out

Layton Construction hit a major milestone in construction of the Trios Family Birthing Center at Trios Southridge Hospital when it placed the final steel beam – topping out the project.

Layton and Trios employees celebrated the moment after signing the beam before it was placed.

The $22 million project is the first phase of construction, which will result in moving the Trios Family Birthing Center from the former Kennewick General Hospital in downtown Kennewick in 2022.

With the final beam in place, crews are working on the exterior perimeter before they begin to pour concrete flooring.

The 23,300-square-foot two-story addition is being built above the first-floor surgery department, with connections to the second and third floors of the current hospital. The project includes renovating nearly 10,000-square-feet within the hospital.

The addition adds two dedicated rooms for Caesarian section deliveries, six labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms and a 10-bed critical care nursery.

The hospital’s licensed bed count will increase to 111 from 74, once the 37 beds currently housed on Auburn are moved.

WSU leaders secure naming rights to Tri-City campus

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz and WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes secured naming rights for the college’s new Collaboration Center academic building in Richland with sizeable donations.

Schulz and his wife, Noel, committed $50,000 to name the “Noel and Kirk Schulz Academic Support Lounge,” while Haynes donated $25,000 to name the “Sandra Haynes Collaboration Space in Honor of First-Generation Students.”

The $30 million, state-funded project will offer eight teaching laboratories, two classrooms and an atrium when it opens this fall on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

For more information about the project or additional opportunities to sponsor rooms and equipment, contact Jaime Heppler, [email protected] or by phone at 817-243-6019.

Pasco begins much-awaited overpass project

The city of Pasco has begun its long-awaited Lewis Street overpass project.

The city held a groundbreaking ceremony in early June to celebrate the project, which will carry Lewis Street across the BNSF Railway tracks on a modern bridge with pedestrian and bike-friendly features. The 1937 underpass will be retired.

Funding is from the Connecting Washington program, Washington’s Motor Vehicle Account, the Transportation Improvement Board, federal grants and city contributions.

Cascade Bridge LLC was the winning bidder with a $22.3 million proposal to construct the bridge.  Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.

Here’s one way to brighten an empty Sears store

Simon Property Group, the parent to Kennewick’s Columbia Center mall, is doing something interesting with the empty Sears in a mall it owns in Burlington, Massachusetts. The retail landlord converted the space into a “restaurant gallery” with tenants such as Fogo de Chão.

While there are no indications Simon has similar plans for its empty Sears spot in Kennewick, it offers a hint to ways the property owner is getting creative about filling large, empty spaces.

The Burlington mall property in Massachusetts debuts its restaurant gallery this fall with four restaurant tenants, including a sandwich shop and a Shake Shack. Too, Simon created a one-acre greenspace outside the old Sears for the gallery.

Sears closed its 160,000-square-foot Kennewick store after it filed for bankruptcy in 2018, 

Al Urbansky of Chain Store Age wrote about the restaurant gallery project in the online retail publication.