A former elementary school principal is bringing Barre3’s unique brand of fitness to Vancouver’s Felida neighborhood.
Amy Grabenkort, owner of Barre3 Vancouver-Felida, will open a 2,200-square-foot studio at 3604 NW 119th St. on Monday, March 30. The Portland-founded company combines ballet, yoga and Pilates techniques to produce a balanced, effective workout.
“Barre3 is known worldwide for being different because of its warm, welcoming family feel,” said Grabenkort, who previously served as associate principal at Marrion Elementary School in northeast Vancouver. “We really rely on giving people that experience and showing people that’s what we are about, and I’m confident that when people come in they will feel that and they’ll want to be a part of that.”
Not only is Grabenkort a first-time business owner, she is also the first tenant at Felida Village – a multi-use development from Vancouver-based Western Design Group.
Nestled between residential neighborhoods, on the corner of NE 36th Ave. and NW 119th St., Grabenkort said it was the “community feel” of the site that drew her in.
“I spent about six months looking for the perfect location,” said Grabenkort. “The demographics in Felida are really strong.”
Ron Edwards, president of Western Design Group, brought the property in 2007 and planned to turn it into a European-style community marketplace. That plan was postponed a few years due to the Great Recession, but is now back on track with Barre3 leading the way.
“I just saw that corner as a prime opportunity to develop something kind of European,” said Edwards. “It’s something in the community that people can walk to or bike to.”
Project plans call for a total of three buildings, each with 3,000 square feet of commercial space. One building (the one that houses Barre3) is mostly finished. A second building is currently under construction and should be complete in early June. A third building, not yet under construction, will be a family restaurant.
To compliment Barre3, Edwards said he would like to bring in a coffee shop or bakery, a retailer or florist, and a community bar.
“I think this area is just ready,” said Grabenkort, when asked about potential neighboring businesses to Barre3. “The community has been so overwhelmingly supportive and welcoming with open arms. I can’t wait for other business owners to feel that too. It’s awesome.”
In addition to Felida Village’s commercial component, the two buildings currently under construction include 10,000-square-feet of second-floor residential space – three two-bedroom apartments plus flex space in one building, and four studio apartments in the other.
“The first three apartments should be ready to rent within six weeks,” said Edwards. “The studio apartments should be ready to rent about two months after that.”
After some back and forth with Clark County, Edwards noted that Felida Village was able to qualify for the county’s fee waiver program, which he said saved a “substantial amount of money.”
Subcontractors on the project include Stewart Plumbing and Stoner Electric.