City of Richland purchases dilapidated motel with plans to beautify property

RICHLAND, Wash. — Once a motel that opened in the 1960’s, the Economy Inn, in Richland has since become dilapidated.

The City of Richland wants to change that.

“Find new life for the project,” Mandy Wallner, the city’s Economic Development Manager, said.

Wallner said the city council recently approved a plan to purchase the property which sits on George Washington Way and Jadwin Boulevard.

“We have kind of had our eye on that property and others downtown. Council has a part of their strategic plan to keep and identify those target properties and watch for when the appropriate turnover happens and this was the right time for the Economy Inn,” she explained.

Wallner said the property sits in a favorable position for the city to develop.

“It’s the, kind of entry point to our central business district and our downtown, it’s something that’s fallen to a little disrepair and blighted and that’s definitely a priority for council to be able
to help upgrade our community and neighborhoods and keep them safe,” she said.

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Wallner added, they’re excited about beautifying this property and all the economic growth within Richland.

Owner of Graze, John Lastoskie, who recently opened a location across the street from the Economy Inn, is happy about the change as well.

“Remediate the building, landscape it for community beautification and wait and see what our municipal needs come up with,”

“Any time there’s an upgrade to some older, maybe fallen apart stuff it’s good to see especially when it’s close to your place of business,” he said.

John added he’ll be glad to see whatever the city decides to do with the property.

While the city knows they’ll knock down the building and landscape the property, Wallner said in the long run, they haven’t decided if it’ll be used for municipal purposes.

One idea is to relocate Richland Fire Station 71 to the property, but that decision is years away.

“It is reaching the end of it’s life for a fire station facility and so one of the opportunities to be explored there would be, you know, redevelopment and upgrade, at that potential site would be an opportunity or relocation within the downtown,” Wallner said.

After acquiring the property, Wallner said there’s a 60-day feasibility period before they can create plans to fix the lot.