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TRIDEC, Tri-Cities, Washington US GUIDE Area Profile

Contact :   TEL   847-304-4655

Bruce Donnelly    (Biography)

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Please contact us if interested in Washington state as a business location.

This is not yet a completed GUIDE Area Profile.

Executive Summary Contact information

See also :  Map of the Tri-Cities area, or the Northwest US region

The Tri-City Industrial Development Council (TRIDEC) coordinates all local assistance to potential investors in this 2945 square mile region of southeast Washington state.  The three cities are Kennewick, Pasco (location of the modern regional airport), and Richland (including West Richland) in Benton and Franklin counties, with a metro area population of nearly 200,000..

TRIDEC provides assistance to existing companies in the county as well, which contributes to a strong local network of contacts and practical knowledge to address a wide range of business issues.  The TRIDEC website for investors was recognized in September 2001 with a "best in class" award by the International Economic Development Council.

Recent developments in the area include the attraction of some major distribution operations for the Pacific Northwest region of the US, thanks to the advantageous combinations of major highway, rail, and waterway capabilities for logistics needs.  Leading investors in the area include Lamb Weston, Iowa Beef Processing, J.R. Simplot, and Boise Cascade.

Research linkages of the area, such as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with over 3400 professional and technical staff from government and industry, are also proving to be a high technology attraction for investors to the area is some specialties, especially related to environmental molecular sciences and other work related to the legacy of the Hanford Site, including nuclear medicine technologies.

The region has also emerged as a successful and increasingly well-recognized wine industry cluster, thanks to the dry climate and water resources.  The most familiar is perhaps the large Columbia Crest winery, but there are many excellent smaller vineyards as well.  Some refer to it as "Napa the way it used to be".

Other highlights include the development of a new environmental preserve along the "Hanford Reach" of the Columbia River, with new eco-tourism developments in this area which is still perhaps best known for the "Hanford Site" of the US Department of Energy.  It is a unique example of environmental restoration and preservation in the wake of nuclear energy and weapons programs which have been discontinued at the vast Hanford Site which occupies a large, isolated area north of the cities

The Tri-City area has attracted a high concentration of leading engineering companies, including locally-based engineers with project experience all over the world, because of the history of the Hanford Site as well as the multi-billion dollar project to deal with the closure and clean-up process, as TRIDEC staff (including engineers trained in the nuclear industry) can readily explain to potential investors.

Given the sophisticated engineering base of the region because of the nuclear programs, there are also international capabilities in the workforce which one might not expect of an apparently remote region of Washington state.  There are literally thousands of employees in the area at firms such as Fluor Hanford, Duratek, Ch2M Hill, Energy Northwest, Bechtel, and Lockheed Martin Services.  The professional nature of the workforce is also notable in the impact on schools (expectations, engineering programs, etc.) and the growth of the retail sector in the region, as well as very "upscale" housing at far more affordable prices than elsewhere in the state.

In a manner similar to regions suffering from the loss of leading industries, or the conversion from reliance on the defense industries during the Cold War era, the loss of the massive operations at the Hanford Site are transforming the region from heavy reliance on one major employer to the need for greater industry diversification. 

This has contributed to a proactive, pro-business environment throughout the area, with very responsive local authorities.  The area traditionally had a highly skilled and very highly educated workforce in very secure jobs, with an excellent quality of life and low cost of living relatives to other cities, so even informal "man on the street" contacts suggest that motivated residents welcome the diversification of their business community, knowing that they need to work together to make it happen.  The general atmosphere of teamwork to support projects would seem to be very good, including respect and support for the work of TRIDEC in this regard.

Investors in the area have also enjoyed incentives and low costs, as TRIDEC can explain.  There also seems to be good collaboration with leading academic resources in the area, including the Tri-Cities campus of Washington State University and Columbia Basin College.

Carl F. Adrian


TRIDEC : Tri-City Industrial Development Council

901 North Colorado

Kennewick, WA 99336-7685


TEL  (509)735-1000  or toll-free in US  1-800-TRI-CITY

FAX (509)735-6609



Alternate contacts :

Gretchen Gwaltney, Business Development Specialist - visit coordinator

Bryson Bailey, Fluor Hanford consultant assigned to TRIDEC

Website :

See also :  Major Real Estate Listings

List of available properties : see also Major Real Estate Listings

A list is maintained by TRIDEC, with information available directly through their website as part of a unique "Certified Sites Program" by which sites are confirmed to be "shovel ready" through advance engineering work which can make project approvals and site development work much faster than usual.

Other suggested contacts for investment planning in this area:

City of Richland                           

Port of Benton                             

Port of Pasco                              

Tri-City Area Chamber of Commerce

Professional service providers reported to be very familiar with direct investment considerations in this area from previous work on major investment projects or among leading investors there:


Leading engineering firms such as Fluor work at the Hanford site, so Fluor's Global Location Strategies group should be familiar with this area, which investors might otherwise not have realized.


Few such consultants may be familiar with a location such as the Tri-City area, or recent developments there, or what differentiates it from other potential locations, or specific situations in which it might be a location worth researching in more detail at client expense.  They must necessarily be very selective about the areas which they research on their own time, whether at their own expense or through a paid familiarization visit sponsored by local area representatives.

Relationship Disclosure

There is no agreed working relationship nor proposal at this time between the TRIDEC and GDI Solutions.  The above presentation is intended to serve as an example of a GUIDE Area Profile, and was not prepared with TRIDEC.  Normally, an Area Profile would be prepared in close consultation with local representatives as the main work of this service of GDI Solutions to become and remain familiar with developments of interest to potential investors in the area (not just to prepare a website presentation such as this one).

Bruce Donnelly participated in a May 2002 familiarization tour of the Tri-City region along with corporate real estate professionals and business contacts.  A very detailed presentation about the region was made available for reference, and several days in the area with TRIDEC representatives and other local contacts gave a fairly good overview of the region, but GDI Solutions has not been directly involved in the support of any direct investment projects in the region at this time.  That tour of the area was used as the main source of information for this sample Area Profile.

Relationship leader at GDI Solutions for potential investors :

  •  Bruce Donnelly

    Please advise regarding any necessary corrections to this Area Profile. 


    The relationship leader is responsible for maintaining sufficiently frequent contact and knowledge about the participating area.


    That is not only to keep the GUIDE Area Profile useful, as in this example, but also to serve as an initial point of contact for any investors who may choose not to contact the local area representatives yet about their interests, such as at a very exploratory or confidential stage of project planning or information-gathering, or for subsequent feedback.

Past Projects and Companies in the Area Testimonials
Investment Incentives Available in the Area

Contact directly for details.  The area may enjoy cost advantages for land, facilities, labor, utilities, and other factors.

Local contacts which may interest some potential investors:


GUIDE Network Survey - not available Executive feedback - none available.

The above is not a finished GUIDE Area Profile.  It is provided as a practical example to illustrate the structure and potential content of a GUIDE Area Profile so that it is easier for corporate executives and area representatives to visualize the potential benefits of this service.  Professional service providers may also be unfamiliar with such an area if they have not done client work there recently, or may be unfamiliar with other local services of potential interest to their clients which can be identified through local knowledge and contacts such as TRIDEC.

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Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  Global Direct Investment Solutions, Inc.      Last modified: 01/27/09