COLLEGE PLACE – Construction activity is predicted to be very busy next year in College Place, but Community Development Director John Rickard expects permit activity to be slow. From 2016 to 2020, the average number of permits the city issued for single-family homes were 38 a year. This year, that number dropped to 25, but could climb to 27 by year’s end. In 2022, Rickard predicts 19 permits for single family residential, which includes one or two dwelling unit buildings.
“The slowdown is not because of lack of demand for new housing but due to the lack of an urban growth area and available developable land within the city’s existing city limits,” Rickard said. “There are various undeveloped pieces of land throughout the city totaling approximately 145 acres that are in preliminary development, but the city has no development applications pending on any of that land and it is highly unlikely that any of these projects will come online in 2022.”
Despite the predicted drop in single-family residential permits, there will be lots of construction in 2022 of commercial projects and multi-family developments, some coming online possibly this fall or winter.
“For instance, the Walla Walla Urgent Care Clinic at 1225 Southeast Commercial Drive and the Burger King at 2366 Taumarson Road,” Rickard listed.
The final phase of Hayden Homes’ Homestead development near Martin Field will be the addition of an apartment complex of 47 single-family cottages that Rickard said will be coming online in the winter of 2022.
The next phase of Hamby Apartments, located at the top of the hill on South College near Sunny Drive, have all been permitted this year and inspection activity will continue into next year. A total of 20 new apartments are being built to the rear of the existing apartment building.
A 40-unit apartment complex on Northeast Spitzenberg Street, near Wenzel Nursery, is permit ready and will likely be issued in the first quarter of 2022 and be completed next year.
Regarding the proposed Village at Fort Walla Walla development, which includes a 180-unit apartment complex, between Northeast Myra Road and Southeast Maple Avenue, Rickard said the city continues to keep in touch with the development company. He said the city is optimistic that the project will get built, but possibly not until 2023.
“The project is permit ready, but permits have not been issued. We have been told there is a partnership restructure in the works which is causing the delay,” he said.
Other projects include the wastewater lift station project, well house no. six project, along with the continued construction of Goodwill into the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Construction activity will be high for a department our size,” Rickard said. “On top of that, I will be leading up the Lions Park renovation project, which we hope to have under construction in spring 2022.”
MYCB photo of Hamby Apartments construction by Dan Thesman