Vista Field’s grand opening celebration kicks off in Kennewick

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Vista Field opening day celebration kicked off on Thursday, June 16 at 2:30 p.m. It’s located at 6600 West Deschutes Avenue, Kennewick, and will operate as a public space for anyone to walk through.

“Initially, we were hoping for a couple of hundred, but the RSVPs have already gone over 600. So it’s just a smashing success from that standpoint,” said Tim Arntzen, Port of Kennewick CEO.

There were food trucks, a photo booth and live music for the public to enjoy while celebrating the completion of the site infrastructure.

British musician John Waite performed and the event closed with music from the band American Honey.

Attendees walked the streamside promenade, drove across the new Crosswind Boulevard and observed Vista Field’s new amenities. This includes fountains, pedestrian bridges, a pond, a commercial plaza, tree-filled landscaping and more.

The J&S Dreamland Express train took attendees to and from Vista Field’s new Fire Station #3. Tours were open, and participants got to see Kennewick’s first motorized fire engine, the 1922 American LaFrance Brockway Torpedo.

The site’s initial infrastructure is meant to set the stage for transforming Vista Field into a ‘regional town center.’

According to the Port of Kennewick, Vista Field will blend mixed-use neighborhoods with urban lifestyle amenities.

Urbanization of the Tri-Cities

Arntzen said the inspiration for the urbanization comes partially from the negativity they’ve seen in the ‘sprawl model,’ where you see communities spread out, further from the core of the city. He said part of the impetus for the new urbanism concept was the compact cities from the 1940s and 1950s. 

“It’s gonna be with narrower streets, and instead of spreading out maybe you build up a couple stories, walkable community amenities, a lot of mom and pop businesses,” Arntzen said.

He said he doesn’t want to set a requirement for further development projects in the Tri-Cities. 

“This is our opportunity to do it our way. We hope that it inspires, but in its own way. We don’t want everybody to have to copy this. But we think that if we do our project right, it can be a model,” Arntzen said. He said the style is fairly unique from other developments in the area.

Vista Field is open for business

“So essentially, after today, we can say that we’re open for business,” Arntzen said. “Hopefully we can field a couple of good proposals between now and the end of the year.”

Proposals and lot sales can be found here.

He said they want to start building, but slowly and meticulously, and make sure that they do it right. Quality over quantity, he said.

“I would hope that within you know, 18 months, 24 months, you have enough of a nucleus here that people say, ‘Okay, I see the picture, I want to come down here and participate,’” Arntzen said. “Maybe then we have the coffee shops or a restaurant or two, some businesses, but it’s really hard to say. It really is hard to say. Things do take a long, long time to mature.”

Vista Field is a public space right now, but Arntzen said that a project or two will start to materialize soon. 

They say this could mean nearly 1,000 residential units, 740,000 square feet of commercial space, more than $500 million in private-sector investment, $51 million in new infrastructure, $408 million in new and taxable buildings and 3,380 jobs.

Vista Field, Arntzen said, is centrally located at the epicenter of the Tri-Cities. It will be the ‘regional town center’ that the Port of Kennewick is looking to develop.

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