Pasco becoming the envy of Eastern Washington as new industry, major companies, and thousands of people flock to the city
With recent announcements that Darigold, Reser’s, and Local Bounti will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars by building brand new agricultural facilities in Pasco, many in the region are starting to identify Pasco as the regional hub of industry and commerce. “This recognition and the economic boom we see play out in Pasco is not surprising,” says Pasco’s City Manager, Dave Zabell, adding that “City Council and staff have been working strategically towards this goal for several years. Pasco is well-situated in the Columbia Basin’s rich farmlands for agricultural manufacturing, which we have seen explode over the past four years. As part of the Tri-Cities, Pasco is close to five major markets, including Canada, and access to major freight and transportation routes from the City’s industrial and commercial area are some of the best in the Pacific Northwest,” said Zabell.
Affordability and Access Major Keys to Pasco’s Success
The City of Pasco has a population of close to 80,000, and another 50,000 people are expected to move here by 2038. The city has seen tremendous growth, and new housing projects are springing up in nearly every direction. With median housing prices right around $337,000, Pasco is becoming a prime choice for relocation from across the Northwest. But despite the demand, prices have remained relatively stable compared to other metropolitan areas in the PNW. “The pandemic has shown people that they can live anywhere in the country. We hear stories from realtors of people moving from Portland, Seattle, and Spokane to live near family here in Pasco. All those cities are only two or three hours from Pasco. From a proximity and affordability standpoint, Pasco and the Tri-Cities are the best places to be in the Pacific Northwest,” said Mike Gonzalez, the City of Pasco’s Economic Development Manager.
Western Part of Pasco Prime for Development
The City recently completed its land use comprehensive plan and expanded its Urban Growth Area, both of which coincide with the development of the Broadmoor area of Pasco. The City is working with private investors on projects for the more than 1,000 acres west of Broadmoor Boulevard. The mixed-use development plan currently includes more than 6,000 homes, 160 acres of commercial zoning, retail areas, and space for parks. The area is gaining a lot of regional buzz, as companies like Costco are considering setting up shop along Broadmoor. “We want to see the right mix of retail, residential, and office space in this area,” said Gonzalez. He added that “While Pasco is experiencing impressive growth, the City’s prior efforts to plan and improve infrastructure are paying off as we are in a much better position to handle what is ahead.” City Manager Dave Zabell says this is only the beginning of major companies flocking to Pasco. There are even bigger things coming, with announcements expected soon on other development. “It’s exciting to see what’s happening here; it is a positive thing for the community and region as it brings jobs, economic opportunity, diversity, and amenities to the community. Keeping pace with the growth that is coming will be a challenge, but one we have spent years readying ourselves for,” said Zabell.
Osprey Pointe at the Port of Pasco will bring a new Waterfront Development
There’s plenty of excitement at the Port of Pasco at their Osprey Pointe Development, where high-end waterfront condos are being planned along with a public market. The project is being developed by JMS Construction. If things keep moving on track as they have, construction will begin in early 2022.
Downtown Pasco Master Plan Will Revitalize Heart of the City
Amidst this massive industrial and the continued commercial growth of Road 68 and the nearly unlimited opportunities in the Broadmoor area, the City Council has prioritized its downtown. The City will be kicking off a significant effort to develop a Downtown Master Plan. The plan will create a roadmap for the downtown core’s future, addressing zoning, infrastructure, historical value, sign code, and more. The City will engage with business owners, citizens, and investors to provide a roadmap for revitalization. The plan comes on the heels of several projects already underway, including a $6 million makeover of Pasco’s Farmer’s Market and the construction of the $22.3 million Lewis Street Overpass. “All of these projects are coming together at the right time. Pasco is the place to live, work, and grow a business. We are business-friendly and ready; that’s why people and companies from across the country are choosing this great city,” said Zabell.
The City of Pasco strives to continue improving the quality of community life in Pasco.