Waterfront developers to lease 3.26 acres from port

The Port of Vancouver Commission will likely sign off on a 50-year lease agreement with Columbia Waterfront LLC for 3.26 acres of waterfront property at the regular commission meeting on June 26.

The private developers – Tualatin-based Gramor Development, with a group of local investors – are looking to lease the 3.26 acres of waterfront property between the Boise Cascade Corp. property and the port-owned Quay property.

Columbia Waterfront bought the 29-acre Boise Cascade property last August to develop a master-planned waterfront community that includes a hotel, retail, offices and restaurants with public open spaces and access to the water.

The terms of the sale will be announced shortly, said Gramor President Barry Cain.

The developers would have liked to buy the 3.26 acres, plus the Quay property, but the port is not open to selling any time soon, said Executive Director Larry Paulson.

Although, he added, one never should say never.

The commission met June 19 to discuss the terms of the lease, opting to postpone approval until the 26th to work out some legal kinks in the agreement.

As it stands, the lease is for 50 years, plus two 15-year options.

The lease does not include any Quay property or affect the existing lease at the Columbia Shores office complex.

After construction is completed, the monthly rent will be $16,492. The construction lease rate will be half of the full-value operational rent for two years, and during those two years, the port will complete its Schedule 1 rail project

Lease rates will increase 2 percent annually, with a full-market-value comparison after 25 years and each subsequent option agreement.

The developers will not be able to use the land for residential purposes, and several easements will be in place for maintenance, rail alignment and public access to the waterfront and amphitheatre.

One provision allows a perpetual easement from Columbia Street, providing public access to the new development.

Columbia Waterfront will continue “good faith negotiations” with the Red Lion to possibly locate at the new hotel that is planned for the 3.26 acres.

The port will maintain reasonable approval rights for the developers’ building design on the site, and the lease is contingent upon Columbia Waterfront successfully buying the Boise Vancouver Mill site.

The deal is also contingent upon Boise Cascade delivering the executed land-exchange agreements the commission approved in May.