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Economic Development Office

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Published: March 7, 2008

Major development: Tri-Cities Research District

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RICHLAND -- Three groups that own undeveloped land in north Richland signed an agreement today with a Portland-based architecture firm. They want to create a master plan for the area.

Representatives put pen to paper today to create a plan for 400 acres of undeveloped land. It includes PNNL, WSU Tri-Cities and parts of Hanford.

Battelle, the Port of Benton and the development group, Solaris, are working with TVA Architects on the plan. The idea is to create a campus environment with a gym, dry cleaner, restaurants and day-care center.

"Bringing in some amenities into the corporate campus makes it a livable environment so people don't feel like they're just coming to work to do a job, but that their job is part of their personal community," TVA Architects Project Manager Stefee Knudsen said.

TVA has at least one-million square feet of office space to work with and the center could employ up to 20,000 people. The total cost of the plan has not been determined yet. Funding for the development will come from the state, Battelle, Solaris and private sectors.

There are more than 7,000 people who currently work for 80 different employers in the Tri-Cities Research District. In October, Governor Gregoire designated the area an Innovation Partnership Zone. This allows it to receive a certain amount of state funding and resources.

PNNL's EDO

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