All Quiet on the Urban Front

That title may seem odd with all the construction activity in and around Downtown Vancouver. There is quite a bit going on but as far as news updates, it is rather quiet. The projects that are underway are moving along nicely but the city has been a bit quiet regarding projects currently under review, such as the Aegis at the Academy, Jefferson Street Apartments, Hyatt Hotel on Washington Street, Block Ten, etc. The CCRA has made some last minute agenda adjustments lately as well. In the past the CCRA December meeting has had some solid presentations for projects and updates to the proposals for larger urban projects so I look forward to next months meeting. Other projects that had traction a year ago and news buzz, seem to be eerily silent now. Summit Development Group and their CLT Timberhouse proposal for Block 3 on the waterfront has not had an update it months nor is it in the city review pipeline. Likewise the Kaiser+PATH Group in Portland proposed building the “Trestle” earlier this year on Block 14 waterfront, another high rise CLT project, but their website is clearly showing a focus on other projects mostly in Portland.

There is still a great deal of venture capital and investment cash floating around the economy and Vancouver officials and developers need to get their hands on more of it. Washington State is a much better tax environment for office professional industries and working with the City of Vancouver is much better for businesses than working with the militant Portland government.

Vancouver also has a great opportunity to attract Seattle business as companies in that expensive market could feel tremendous relief here with our better quality of life, lower cost of real estate and ambitious local government. Seattle corporate expansion and or relocation remain in Washington State making the transition relatively smooth. Office space is tight in Vancouver but many developers are nervous about building expensive high density office space without a large anchor tenant lined up in advance. The citizens of Vancouver have a vested interest in the well being of community and more quality high paying jobs is in the interest of the people. So the city can certainly allocated some resources to attracting large quality employers to the region. The list of disgruntled Portland business grows daily and they should be headed to Vancouver USA not Beaverton, Hillsboro, or Clackamas County.

On the condo scene last week was a push with about as many new listings as new sales. Things are looking solid in America’s Vancouver.

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