In the Pipeline

A wide variety of projects await Clark County in 2011

For Clark County's real estate developers and the business community at large, 2010 provided quite a bit to be thankful for.

Meanwhile, 2011 offers some tantalizing promises of more good things to come.

A year in review

Last June, the Port of Vancouver completed the Terminal 5 project, as part of the larger West Vancouver Freight Access project. The completion of this $14 million loop track was one of the main reasons the Washington Public Ports Association named the Port of Vancouver the 2010 Port of the Year, on November 19th.In the pipeline

Two large retail stores were completed this year: Winco, at Bowyer Marketplace, and a new Costco. Bowyer Marketplace, at the corner of 119th Street and SR-503, is being developed by Killian Pacific. Winco opened for business in April. Costco, at the corner of 192nd Avenue and 1st Street, opened in November. The anchor building of Gramor Development's 18-acre Lacamas Crossing, the Costco features 148,500 square feet of retail space, employing 240 people (100 of them transfers from other Costco locations).

In total, the Vancouver Business Journal recognized 38 "Top Projects" this year, totaling a net construction value of more than $183 million.

Looking ahead

There are some very exciting development projects culminating or getting underway in the coming 12 months, in a wide variety of locations and industrial sectors.

According to City Business Development Manager Alisa Pyszka, downtown Vancouver's Waterfront Access Project will "reconnect Vancouver to the water." She said the project will literally start moving dirt on January 3rd, and it's slated to be the biggest development project in the city's history. Those backing the $44.6 million project hope to see it energize an estimated $1.3 billion in new private investment, while re-developing the 32-acre Boise Cascade property.

Other downtown projects coming to fruition in 2011 include the new public library and new tenants in the Centurion Building at 7th and Main. Executive Director of Vancouver's Downtown Association, Lee Rafferty, said Pure Imagination, a toy design company whose work is featured on the cover of the latest Brookstone catalog, will occupy the entire 2nd floor of the building starting January 1st. Also leasing space in the building is Maxm Photography, which moved from Portland to Vancouver a few months ago.

Rafferty also noted plans by the Schofield family to renovate their building located at 6th and Main. Plans include completely changing the façade of the building, and re-pointing the bricks. According to Rafferty, a Schofield family representative said "We want to do it once, we want to do it right, and we want to do it now."

Building on the successful completion of Terminal 5, the Port of Vancouver is negotiating several significant lease agreements. BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, is negotiating the terms of using 60 acres of Port land to build a potash export center, which would boost total Port export from 4.8 million tons to 12.8 million tons per year.

Other Port development activity includes:

  • Farwest Steel is working with the Port to buy up to 22 acres for a steel processing and distribution facility that could employ up to 225 workers. Construction is slated to begin in the spring.
  • Great Western Malting is undertaking a $17.4 million renovation and expansion of its existing malting facility.
  • United Harvest is beginning a $55 million upgrade to its silos and loading/unloading infrastructure.

In the retail segment, Westfield Vancouver plans a $25 million remodel of the 950,000 square-foot shopping center, including the addition of a Cinetopia Theater (which includes a restaurant, art gallery, and other entertainment options). According to Jessica Curtis, marketing director for the Mall, the remodel will create more than 600 construction jobs and hundreds of new permanent jobs, while "transforming Westfield Vancouver into a much lighter and brighter shopping environment."

Other retail projects include:

  • Completion of 27,000 square feet of additional retail space adjacent to the 192nd Avenue Costco.
  • 192nd Avenue Station (Dean Kirkland Development), a six-acre shopping center located between 15th and 20th Streets.
  • Additional Bowyer Marketplace out-parcels, such as a bank branch.

The health and hospital sector will also be active in 2011. For example, Providence Health and Services – Oregon Region will complete its $6.5 million, 15,000 square-foot medical office building on 192nd Avenue in July. Gary Walker, Providence's regional director for public affairs, said the building will offer primary care, lab and x-ray services.

Southwest Washington Medical Center is also building a new facility at 192nd Avenue and 1st Street. Ken Cole, interim chief communications officer for SWMC, said the 95,000 square-foot, three-story facility will sit on 12.21 acres, and will house a free-standing emergency department, full-service imaging, physical therapy and physician offices. Cole said site preparation is expected to begin in September, and he estimates the project will be complete about a year later.

Other upcoming medical-related projects include:

  • Providence will open a Home Medical Equipment retail site in the county, and expand their Mill Plain Clinic, which will eventually house Providence's service area administration.
  • Peacehealth may construct a central office that would house shared service operations such as information technology, legal services and accounting.

"It's encouraging that there is confidence to invest in capital projects," said Pyszka, who was pleased by the diversity of the projects in the 2011 pipeline, which includes export, medical, and retail. "There is a balanced and substantial investment."