Osprey Pointe Vision Now a Reality

Dear Friends of the Port of Pasco,

What can be said about the Port of Pasco’s new Osprey Pointe business center, which just opened earlier this spring?  Well, actually quite a bit if you will indulge me.

The whole idea behind the Port building a Columbia River waterfront business center has been discussed for years.  The concept seemed like a good one from first blush but funding it was a different matter.  Anyone that has ever built a home or office, spud shed or hay storage knows the amount of effort, permitting and funding that goes into projects like those.  Add one other little matter, being close to the Columbia River, it takes you to a whole different level indeed.  With the help of an excellent group of citizens from Pasco to Connell who served on an advisory committee, the planning of the new business center was set into motion in 2010.

The Commissioners’ knowledge combined with the wisdom of some very experienced folks in the form of Port of Pasco staff, engineering and architecture like BCRA, and a builder like Fowler Construction, created a pretty good team to take on a multi-million dollar project like Osprey Pointe.

The business center site boasts a gentle slope to the river’s edge (no dikes) with nice views up and down the river.  A few years back, a river trail was installed as part of another project at the Port and has been used by a lot of nice folks wanting a riverside walk, run or bike ride.  As you might imagine, eagles and osprey frequent the river and find some nesting spots in some of the trees at the site.  Other critters can be found roaming the grounds and if you are patient and real quiet you’ll have a nice treat.

Often in new public-owned projects like this, government agencies are the first to build. Investors are a little skittish about putting a lot of money into something that is only drawn on paper.  Once the first building goes up, they see the quality and are able to read the building covenants; it gives them a warm, fuzzy feeling. Anytime you are going to drop a few million into a project, that’s important.

Parts of warm, fuzzy feelings come from being able to see a vision that has become a reality.  Investors need to have the knowledge that the folks they are going to partner up are concerned about the investors’ best interests, as well. We take our job very seriously when we are asking other investors to join us to create an incredible cadre of facilities that sit along one of the most beautiful and used waterways in the West; they need to know our commitment is from the heart.

There is probably a lot more to be said, but not by me. The building is done, the Port of Pasco has moved into the top floor and is eager to lease out other parts of the building.  A beautiful meeting room has been created with a veranda that overlooks the trail and riverfront.  Large doors turn the indoor meeting room into an extraordinary outdoor meeting experience. We are working on the details of community use of the facility, but we cannot be held responsible if the views and ambiance cause you to not complete your meeting tasks.

Thank you for trusting us to carry out your business at the Port of Pasco. The Port of Pasco cares a great deal about its image and reputation within the local community. The Port belongs to you; your Commissioners just have the honor of watching over it for you. …. With deepest respect,   Bill Clark, Commissioner

Recreation Destination: Osprey Pointe

Throughout the planning for the Port’s new Osprey Point business center, the value of the property along the Columbia River was forefront in every discussion.  Not only was it important to create a premier business location, but also a place with open spaces and public access.

With Osprey Pointe now a reality, the Port is working to help the community become acquainted with it.  And, someone very familiar with recreation is joining in to help.

Paul Whitemarsh, longtime Pasco Recreation Services Manager who retired in 2009, has accepted a short-term assignment to both encourage use of the waterfront of Osprey Pointe as well as identifying facility improvements to make it even more useable.

“Paul is a well-respected member of the greater Tri-Cities community,” said Randy Hayden, the Port’s Director of Planning and Engineering.  “When we asked him to continue our efforts to introduce Osprey Pointe to the community, he was excited about the opportunity.”

Whitemarsh, who started working on the project in January, began by contacting various recreation groups, non-profit organizations, and park and recreation departments within the area.

“He wants them to actually see what Osprey Pointe has to offer,” said Hayden. “We know Osprey Pointe can become another outdoor venue option for these groups, but they may not know about it, yet.”

Whitemarsh will also develop a Master Recreation Plan for Osprey Pointe, which creates a vision for the area and outlines potential improvements.  Some of that plan will come from input he receives as he works with community groups.

“He will be asking these groups what they want and what they need in upgrades to make it more usable and attractive,” said Hayden.

“This is a beautiful, gently sloping and open waterfront property,” said Hayden.  “We want to encourage people to use it and at the same time see the business opportunities that are available at Osprey Pointe. Paul is helping us do just that and we are pleased to have his help.”