Developer sought for prime opportunity to shape the heart of downtown Vancouver

The chance to vision and design a prime site in downtown Vancouver is now open to developers. The Vancouver City Center Redevelopment Authority (CCRA) is seeking a development team for a 6.4-acre city-owned site in downtown that will become a key part of the gateway to the riverfront, which has emerged as a desirable destination for businesses, residents and visitors.

The site is bounded by West Sixth (north), Columbia (east) and Grant (west) streets and the railroad berm (south) and is adjacent to Vancouver City Hall and the Vancouver Convention Center/Hilton Hotel.

The CCRA issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the project on March 31, 2021. Responses are due by 3 p.m., June 29, 2021.

The site is strategically located between two important centers of redevelopment activity – the Columbia River waterfront and historic downtown core. It represents one of the largest remaining undeveloped contiguous properties in the downtown area and is a premier development opportunity for the region. The site uses the working title “Waterfront Gateway.”

The CCRA is seeking teams composed of a developer and designer capable of both designing and building office, commercial, retail and housing in a multi-story mixed-use environment. The opportunity is rooted in a community vision developed over the last two years that offers initial ideas and design considerations for the site, including a public parking garage and potential future expansion of the convention center.

“The RFQ is an important step toward shaping the heart of downtown Vancouver by creating a fun, innovative and inspiring district connecting Esther Short Park to our vibrant waterfront,’ said CCRA Board President Richard Keller. “Accessibility, inclusion and providing a place available to all income levels will be a major focus of our efforts.”

Following selection of a development team, the CCRA and City of Vancouver intend to collaborate with them on developing a master plan for the site. The CCRA will then negotiate the necessary agreements with the development team to purchase or lease parcels for development in accordance with the master plan.

The RFQ is available online at beheardvancouver.org/waterfrontgateway. In addition to the community vision, the RFQ includes background on the downtown area, relevant information about the site’s parcels, planning and zoning considerations, resources and incentives, submittal requirements and evaluation process, and a proposed schedule.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.