Yakima commercial construction up in recent years

YAKIMA, Wash. -- More than a million dollars is being poured into this spot on 24th Avenue and Washington. The Airpark Plaza is offering space to tenants. Jerry Maggard is the developer.

"It's very desirable for a tenant moving into a new space to create it the way he wants it," said Maggard.

Maggard points to the location as a big selling point. There's a lot of cars passing through the area. Maggard's project is one example of the growth of commercial buildings in Yakima. It's jumped by more than 100 percent in recent years. Yakima has every reason to be excited.

"I think it's a sign our economy is picking up. People are seeing Yakima as a good investment and the business and development community are seeing some opportunities," said Yakima Economic Development Manager, Sean Hawkins.

But just because you build it, they may not come. Downtown Yakima has plenty of empty storefronts. Economic Development Manager Sean Hawkins says the older buildings can be harder to rent due to the cost of renovations. But he's not concerned.

"As our economy grows people will take a look at some of these older buildings when they can get a good buy on them. We're not worried about it," said Hawkins.

And Maggard expects his new space could be filled by the fall. One tenant is confirmed and several others negotiating. Encouraging new growth for businesses in Yakima.

Once the first building at Airpark Plaza is filled, construction on a second larger building will begin.