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July 14, 2022
Closing in on years of hard work and foresight, promises are now reality.
Vancouver’s emerging waterfront lines the mighty Columbia River where explorers Lewis and Clark trekked over and through it. For centuries, the river has served as the central access point for the ebb and flow of life in our majestic and resource rich Pacific Northwest. This river, and its history, mean everything.
Fast forward to here and now: southwest Washington is among the fastest growing regions in the state with greater Clark County’s population as the second highest growth county in Washington last year; its population is now estimated at 508,000. The greater Vancouver-Portland metro area’s population has exploded in recent years; it’s now estimated at 2.48 million.
With such growth surrounding it, the Waterfront Vancouver is now home to a prolific renaissance. In 2005, when starting work on this property, we crafted the vision of what it could be. Now, the transformation is nearly complete and accomplishing our core community values to connect the community together with the water.
Bringing the waterfront to life has been a labor of love for us.
The work we and the city have accomplished at the waterfront’s 32-acre property (in 22 city-sized blocks) comprises modernized infrastructure implementation and improvements, water access points and new amenities. All open for business, this new neighborhood is abuzz with popular retailers, amenities, Class A offices, and diverse living options.
More than a dozen signature restaurants cater to crowds such as the ever-popular WildFin, Twigs Bistro and Stack Burger. Two Northwest favorites opening soon are El Gaucho and 13 Coins. In addition, some of the best Oregon and Washington wines are featured at 10 tasting rooms and eateries. Owners report high receipts owing to the area’s popularity, consistent foot traffic and booked reservation options.
A condo tower, adjacent to the locally owned, boutique Hotel Indigo, is also coming online shortly. This new tower highlights the diversity of substantial market rent offerings in apartments. Additionally, we recently broke ground on the well-respected The Springs at The Waterfront senior living tower, which at 12 stories tall will offer 250 apartments. These options complement more than 2,800 housing options with rents exceeding the metro area’s average.
We’ve seen how quickly this destination has become both a central gathering place for casual get togethers and memorable nights out, and as a business hub, as it’s within walking distance of both the Vancouver Convention Center and business district.
Five blocks remain available for development, most of which have served as surface parking. These comprise blocks 10, 11, 13, 14 and 16, each of which offers exceptional waterfront access at the heart of both water and city views. With 75% of the comprehensive development built, under construction or in planning, current space available is prime for a corporate campus or headquarters option, giving workers a premium office location and proud presentation for meetings, business lunches, after work happy hours and events.
These few available blocks, which can be developed independently, are also suited for additional residential options such as multifamily housing. On the 44,300-square-foot Block 7, we’ll soon be breaking ground on an eight-story parking garage with 851 spaces and 11,200 square feet of ground-floor retail availability.
In a place to call home, many shopkeepers; winemakers and brewers; restauranteurs; housing developers; CEOs and industry leaders; condo and apartment residents and others now work, live and/or play at the Waterfront Vancouver. Each office worker, resident, restaurant patron, shopper and visitor can enjoy not only water views but the extensive waterfront park, which now connects to the local system of walking, hiking and biking trails.
Adjacent to the Waterfront Vancouver neighborhood is a 6-acre parcel of land owned and under development by the Port of Vancouver USA. The Marriott AC Hotel recently opened at this property. The port is also planning a complementary mixture of hotel, office and retail offerings, including bringing the West Coast headquarters of the highly successful tech company Zoominfo and its 3,500 employees next door.
Today the world at the Waterfront Vancouver looks vastly different. High rises of apartments and Class A office space, a senior housing complex, high-profile restaurants, taphouse-style eateries, popular retailers, signature retailers, on-demand business services, world-renowned wineries and a boutique hotel and condo tower are completing this new unique destination.
Outfitting the residential and commercial activity, the architectural wonder of the new park nips the water with an interactive water feature detailing the region’s and the river’s shared history and natural wonders. Alongside it is the legendary cable-stay Grant Street Pier, affording a walk out over the river and arguably the most beloved feature of the Waterfront Vancouver.
We are grateful for not only the support we’ve received as we envisioned this expanse at the river’s edge, but also for the community’s overwhelmingly positive response and patronage. Together, we see this region rising.
Barry Cain owns and directs Gramor Development, a commercial real estate company that has developed more than 70 mixed-use projects in the Portland/Vancouver metro area over nearly 40 years.