Speed Bump? Port Refuses to Sell Land Beneath Clover Island Inn
The ongoing saga of the fate of the Clover Island Inn continues.
PORT OF KENNEWICK COMMISSIONERS DECLINE TO SELL LAND
The sticking point in a potential deal for a developer to buy the Clover Island Inn and convert it to micro-apartments continues to hinge on the land under the hotel being sold.
After Tuesday's meeting, it continues. A couple of weeks ago we reported a deal was pending for the sale of the Clover Island Inn to the Fortify Holdings firm from Oregon. They're the ones who've purchased several Tri-City area hotels, including the Loyalty Inn in Pasco and the old Shiloh-Rivershore in Richland (that one hinges as well on the city selling the land under the facility).
Their goal is to convert these properties into a series of micro-apartments or apartments to alleviate housing shortages in our area. They have purchased other similar facilities in Oregon and are reportedly refurbishing them.
FORTIFY WANTS TO BUY THE LAND UNDER THE HOTEL
Because of land-use concerns and possibly wondering what the future use of the island would be beside the apartments, Commissioners voted 2-1 to reaffirm their position to not sell the land. According to information in the Tri-City Herald, the purchase deadline is March 31st, and Fortify officials say if the land is not part of the deal they intend to purchase the Inn but would likely forgo the apartment plan and operate it as a hotel.
That would be a sharp departure from the striking changes they had planned for the hotel units. During testimony during the meeting, some citizens voiced concerns about the micro-apartment complex, fearing it could result in low-income housing.
The Rivershore Richland purchase is much like this one, Fortify is trying to work a deal to also buy the land under the hotel because it's owned by the city.
The land under Clover Island is owned by the Port of Kennewick. A lot of effort has gone into renovations over the years, including the distinctive lighthouse as well as the many boat mooring and docking facilities. The Coast Guard Station is there as well.
We will continue to monitor this situation, it's getting mixed reviews from area citizens, many of who view the Inn as a popular Tri-City landmark, and venue for events.
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