The Vancouver Waterfront development has seen a ton of early success over the last year with the opening of the development’s two flagship restaurants – WildFin American Grill in Block 9 and Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar in Block 12 – about one year ago. Maryhill Winery followed not far behind, opening a tasting room in Block 12, and the development at Vancouver’s destination Waterfront isn’t showing any signs of slowing.
“We just finished the last of the streets that go all the way out to the west, so that’s a big thing,” said both Barry Cain, president of Gramor Development, and Marc Strabic, Gramor’s director of leasing.
And it’s a good thing those streets are open and ready for visitors, because attractions down at the Vancouver Waterfront are just getting started. Most recently, a few new wineries announced they will be opening tasting rooms down at the Waterfront, including Hood River-based Naked Winery and a joint tasting room featuring Walla Walla-based Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars. Strabic said Brian Carter Cellars, based in Woodinville, Wash., is also planning to open a space.
The Pepper Bridge and Amavi tasting room will be located on the ground floor of The Rediviva building, and Naked Winery will be located at the Kirkland Tower.
“We still have a few more wineries that we’re currently talking to (about opening tasting rooms),” Strabic said. “We set out to be a top-five destination for this area, and I think really we’re going to be number one.”
Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars are owned and operated by three families – the McKibbens, the Goffs and the Pellets.
“We chose our new tasting room location because we have a location in Woodinville, outside of Seattle, that has done very well for us,” said Partner Eric McKibben. “We have a lot of club members in both the Seattle area and Portland area, and so wanted to land somewhere in the Portland area. We first went down the path of landing at the Woodland development north of Vancouver, but that didn’t come to fruition. Almost as soon as we started looking again early this year, the Waterfront Project was presented to us and we jumped at the chance.”
McKibben said they currently project an opening date of mid-October. He said they hired LRS Architects, who “have delivered a great floor plan and interior design.” He said they are just about to start the building process with R&H Construction.
“The interest from Washington wineries has been outstanding,” Cain said. “The addition of this tasting room will help create a space where visitors can come together over world-class wine and conversation; we’re incredibly excited to welcome them.”
Becky Williams, marketing manager with Naked Winery, said they decided to open a space at the Vancouver Waterfront because they have a lot of wine club members in the Portland and Vancouver area, and they had been looking for a spot in Washington for quite a while. When the Waterfront was being developed, Williams said they thought it would be the perfect spot to expand into.
“Wine is all about getting together with friends and loved ones and this new location provides the perfect venue for sharing Naked Winery’s unique atmosphere and experience,” said Peter Steinfeld, owner and president at Naked Wines. “Between the view, the new space and the seasonal wine-friendly food menu, we’re excited to share this spot with the community of Vancouver and our Club Naked wine club members.”
Naked Winery will begin build out of the 2,000-square-foot space located on the southwest corner of Kirkland Tower in spring of 2020.
“Naked Winery is a great fit for this space, and when we met with the team from Naked Winery – it just clicked,” said Dean Kirkland, chairman of Kirkland Development. “The Waterfront has been bustling and it is only going to get busier as our condos and hotel open – we’re incredibly excited to have this wine bar open for everyone.”
In addition to the winery newcomers, the Waterfront will be welcoming several new restaurants as well. Stack 571 Burger & Whiskey Bar, which occupies just more than 3,000 square feet on the ground floor of The Rediviva, just opened last weekend, and Barlow’s Public House – located just above Twigs – plans to open this month.
Strabic said there are several restaurants that they are seriously talking to about occupying the last two restaurants spaces – the space above WildFin and space next to Barlow’s. El Gaucho Vancouver, another Waterfront restaurant addition, will open in 2020 on the ground floor of the future Hotel Indigo.
Additional restaurants/bars coming to the Kirkland Tower include Bar 51, Eighteen 54, Standifer Blue and Witness Lounge (the Hotel Indigo lobby bar).
“The hotel is right on schedule and we are still anticipating an end-of-2020 opening,” Kirkland said. “We will also be opening our condo sales office early next year and we’ve contracted with The Agency out of Beverly Hills to broker the units.”
Construction is also underway on almost all of the condo buildings down at the Waterfront as well. Strabic said construction on Block 3, which will have about 200 units, should start early next year; Block 20 is about ready to close and construction will begin right away, most likely in September, on 250 units; and Block 18 is under contract with The Springs Living for a senior residential tower. Strabic said construction on The Springs Living is probably still close to a year away, as they still have a lot of planning to do for the structure.
Strabic said they are close to being about 50% done with having all of the blocks down at the Waterfront contracted out. He said The Murdock building, the first office space building to open down at the Waterfront, is about 85% leased, and they they are in talks with potential tenants to bring it to 100%.
And, of course, he said they are also working on a parking garage on Block 7, and street-level retail parking.
“We have parking on the surface lots now and that’s a temporary thing,” Strabic said. “Eventually, we’ll put that into a parking garage. We need more parking, and it’s nice to have a single place where people know they can go.”