Anthony's, a fixture at Sea-Tac, eyes opening at Tri-Cities Airport

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Anthony's restaurant is among the three businesses interested in operating the Tri-Cities Airport's concessions starting in 2017.

The seafood chain, Florentyna's and Tailwind, a concessionaire at 10 U.S. airports, all attended a recent meeting for companies interested in the 10-year contract, Port of Pasco commissioners were told Thursday.

Port officials are asking the future concessionaire to make an investment of about $2.2 million to the planned restaurant and concessions space as part of the Pasco airport's "once in a generation" remodel, which is expected to start this summer.

That cost would be in addition to the port's $43.5 million project to almost double the size of the terminal.

Concession proposals are due Feb. 21, said Ron Foraker, airport director. More than those three businesses could submit proposals.

Port officials said they are happy with current concessionaire Florentyna's. The port is required to seek proposals for the future airport concessionaire contract. The current contract expires in February 2017.

Cindy Goulet, owner of Florentyna's, took over airport concessions at the Pasco airport in April 1997. That same year, she opened Florentyna's Italian restaurant at the Pasco airport. She expanded the offerings, opening 3 Eyed Fish, a bar in the secured boarding area, in 2011. She also operates the River Snack Bar and the gift shop.

Foraker told commissioners that Anthony's has a restaurant at SeaTac Airport. Tailwind operates concessions at 10 airports in Texas and on the East Coast that are a similar size to the Pasco airport.

A committee that includes one of the port commissioners will review the proposals once they are submitted, said Randy Hayden, the port's executive director. The port commission may have a recommendation to consider in March.

Under the lease agreement, Florentyna's pays a minimum amount of rent each month and a percentage of the gross revenue, Foraker said.

Part of the reason the port is seeking to determine a concessionaire now is so that the company will have the option of tweaking the concession space during the design process with architect Mead & Hunt.

Port commissioners also unanimously approved increasing Mead & Hunt's design fee by $350,000 because of additional work the architect has done for the port that was not included in the initial scope of the project.

The initial $2.4 million design fee was based on a project that would cost about $29 million, Foraker said. However, cost estimates are now up to $35 million, with alternates making the project more than $40 million.

Alternates that Mead & Hunt has prepared include adding space back to Gate 5 on the new concourse and a baggage delivery system.

The change brings the contract with the architect to about $2.8 million, or 7 percent of the project cost, Foraker said. That's a lower percentage than was included in the initial contract.

David Robison of Strategic Construction Management, whom the port hired to help with the process, told commissioners that the port has asked tough questions of Mead & Hunt and the company has worked hard to provide the port with fair answers.

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