Vancouver in Position for Post Pandemic Boom

An article in yesterday’s Columbian showed Vancouver and Clark County in good shape relative to the metro area on office space. Vancouver is still a bit overstocked on leasable office space, but compared to Portland we are in great shape. The article dove into the stats with the overall metro office vacancy rate at over 25% and Vancouver sitting at 16%. Interviews with prominent commercial brokers and developers all had a positive look at Vancouver. Although the article indicated that many businesses were “eyeing” Vancouver for relocation from out of the area as well as Portland.

The article failed to mention anything of the general exodus out of Portland due in my opinion and the opinion of several local business people I spoke to, largely to the local government’s complete loss of control in the city center. Rampaging thugs vandalizing businesses on a regular basis and thousands of homeless camping out on the streets tends to chase away traditional office tenants. Portland can blame the pandemic for now, but when those companies decide not to return and move elsewhere, the Mayor and city council will have some challenging questions from the local business community and many of their residents I reckon as well.

To make matters worse, reports state that statistics show the homicide rate in Portland is up 750% this year over last year. Portland has never been a violent city. Sure it has had a robust counter-culture of protesting and such, but murders? No way! Portland in fact, for a city of its size has had up until recently one of the lowest murder rates in the nation. Now it starting to look more like Oakland, CA. Portland is falling apart and Vancouver can capitalize on their failures by attracting and relocating businesses to the urban core here. There is no other city in the metro area with a proper urban downtown. It’s Portland or Vancouver. Some of the business leaving Portland may end up in the burbs’ perhaps Gresham, Beaverton, Tigard, or even Vancouver’s Eastside, but many will seek out Vancouver Downtown, with its robust upward trend in modern mid-rise and high-rise development, as well as a favorable tax and business climate.

Our Mayor and city council should take notice of what is happening in Portland. There is a lesson to be learned: Vancouver should not follow Portland in any way shape or form. Positive development, new business and residents leads to strong revenue growth for the city which in turn provides much needed infrastructure and social service funds that benefit us all including the least fortunate among us. Vancouver has been reaping rewards of improved real estate in the city core for the last 20 years and the Waterfront and new urban infill will continue that trend. As a benefit of this increased local revenue many affordable income restricted projects have been developed in the city center that provide housing at a significant reduction in rent. These projects include the excellent Esther Short Commons run by Vancouver Housing Authority, 13 West and 15 West, in Midtown which are clean and nice Section 42 income restricted units based on 60% of the County Median Income. There are many more of these types of projects in Vancouver and they are funded through various entities from the Feds, to the State, and even locally with revenues generated by boosted property taxes and new business revenue from converting an under improved block into a highest and best use block. It’s been a win-win for Vancouver these last two decades and all the current administration has to do is not screw it up. No trick plays, no fancy passes, it’s Marshawn Lynch up the middle for the win.

So long as Vancouver continues to be the ‘Anti-Portland’ it will continue to thrive and succeed. The bulk of voters in Vancouver like our city the way it is, clean, good traffic, safe streets, and on the rise. These are the things drawing people here. We are holding an excellent hand in America’s Vancouver. No need to take a card, just play the hand we have.

Ground is broken and preliminary construction prep is underway on Block 3 at the Waterfront. This is another big project similar in scope to the Block 20 project due to complete this fall. This is the Timberhouse originally planned as a 12 story cross laminated timber building, now a more traditional 10 story concrete and steel affair. Two underground parking levels and 8 above ground floors with the retail/commercial space and 227 apartments. Although the Summit Development website still shows a delivery date of October 2022, that is not going to happen, probably more like 2023. It’s all good, these things take time to construct. Yet another tower crane will rise up to support this development.

The CCRA meets Thursday to go over the usual business. One item is the new Terminal One development for Block A and C a very nice proposal that includes a fabulous public benefit of both utility and recreation. The utility is in a 505 space garage hidden in the rear of the project facing the BNSF berm. Two 7 story towers, one residential, the other office will rise up with a spectacular staircase between to the buildings and a future pedestrian bridge over the BNSF berm to connect to the new Waterfront Gateway district under initial planning now. This project is expected to stat construction near the end of the year or early 2022. I like it. Parking is something that will be very important as the Terminal One project builds out and the Waterfront area as well. More info on this project here.

OK condos: activity was similar this week to last with an over all net zero gain to inventory. A few new listings, a couple pending and closed. I did see two failed sales one in Parkview the other in Shorewood. Hopefully lenders aren’t getting weird on us. We don’t need any of that now, do we?

There is a Viewpoint condo listed and that is a rare bird. This is a west facing 8th floor unit listed at $969,900. I’ve been in a half dozen homes in Viewpoint but never in a west facing unit. With the emerging development on the waterfront, that view is increasingly more urbanesque. I’ll have to check that one out. I may have someone interested in Viewpoint.

I had the chance to have dinner at the new DosAlas restaurant above Wildfin in the Jean Building at the Grant Street Pier. They have done a nice job creating a sort of South Florida vibe with a nice mix of dishes in a latin theme. They have some serious connoisseur level cocktails and adult beverages on the menu. It is a refreshing new style for Vancouver that may not suit everyone, but provides yet another reason not to go to Portland for fine dining. With the arrival of several new upscale restaurants to Downtown and the Waterfront, including the locally famous El Gaucho, Vancouver may shed its reputation as a fine dining desert.

Urban living in the ‘Couv’ continues to get better and better.

Downtown market still TIGHT

The condo market in the urban core is getting even more tight. Take a look at the availability in the various projects in the urban area.

Downtown:

  • Academy Square (50 units) : 0 active, 1 pending, 0 recent sales
  • Heritage Place (138 units) : 2 active, 3 pending, 7 recent sales
  • Frontier Block (22 units) : 0 active, 0 pending, 0 recent sales
  • Parkview (125 units) : 6 active, 3 pending, 8 recent sales
  • Viewpoint (33 units) : 1 active, 0 pending, 0 recent sales

Columbia Shores:

  • Meriwether (19 units) : 2 active, 0 pending, 1 recent sale
  • Northwynd (202 units) : 3 active, 1 pending, 12 recent sales
  • The Village Tower (96 units) : 3 active, 2 pending, 3 recent sales
  • The Village Townhomes (39 units) : 0 active, 0 pending, 0 recent sales

Heights / Tidewater :

  • Riverside (52 units) : 0 active, 0 pending, 0 recent sales
  • Shorewood (187 units) : 0 active, 4 pending, 7 recent sales
  • Tidewater (152 units) : 1 active, 1 pending, 7 recent sales

So the total market gross units I’m tracking in the Vancouver urban core is 1,115 units with 18 active. That is pretty tight with about 1.6% of total inventory available. That is more much more generous than the single family housing market locally but for the urban condo sub-segment that is tight! That bodes well for the upcoming release of the 40 brand new units in Kirkland Tower. Those will be expensive units likely fetching seven figures each and that million dollar plus segment is now even tighter than before.

You may notice however despite the market being light on inventory a new listing did appear in Viewpoint at Vancouver Center, Vancouver’s tallest condo project (until Kirkland Tower opens this summer) The 8th floor unit faces west peeking out over the top of Parkview at Vancouver Center. I actually prefer the east facing units but this unit does have a pretty good view across the densely built east side of Esther Short Park over the waterfront and the Columbia River. The unit has been completely remodeled so it does not have the dated look of some units in the tower that harken back to 2004. It is listed at $969k features 2 beds and 2 baths with nearly 1600 sf of space.

DosAlas opened up last week atop the Jean building on the Grant Street Pier. That is a nice restaurant with a very Miami South Florida vibe and a latin menu influenced by Argentina, Peru, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They have many cool cocktails including a unique take on the “Old Fashioned” served in traditional lowball inside a smokey glass container. They also serve up some very expensive cocktails and shots using the most exclusive liquor brands in the world. DosAlas is now one of Vancouver’s more upscale restaurants. This spot plus the arrival of El Gaucho later this summer will add a some serious ‘street cred’ to Vancouver’s Waterfront food scene.

Around the city center Vancouver continues to see progress on more than dozen projects. The AC Marriot Hotel, and both Towers at Holland on Block 10 are now nearly topped out. The Columbia will have 248 units ready for occupancy this fall on Block 20 at the Waterfront. The Kirkland Tower and Indigo Hotel on Block 4 at the Waterfront are nearly completion and should be open sometime in the summer, probably late in the season. The first phase of the Aegis project at the Academy is also well under way the tower crane base is installed and the crane should be operating in a matter of days.

contact Rod today to tour any of Vancouver’s available urban condos

Busy Week in the ‘Couv’

Today of course is Memorial Day where we as a nation honor those that lost their lives on the battlefields defending America. We should all take a pause and think about how this world may have looked had Hilter won in 1945 or the Soviets had come out on top in the 1990s. Many people have died to protect our world and they deserve remembrance. And so I do remember them.

Last week saw a fair bit of activity from major projects to individual condo transactions. Things are buzzing along nicely as we approach the warm summer months. Dosalas restaurant opened this weekend taking the entire floor of the Jean building above Wildfire right on the Grant Street Pier. The restaurant has a south Florida vibe that permeates the space and then menu is a broad latin cuisine with influences from Argentina, Spain, Mexico, and the Caribbean. This is a must try spot and its location is one of the very best on the waterfront.

A fair bit of condo activity as a few units came to market and were immediately snapped up as well as a few pending and closed sales. The urban condo inventory tightened for the third straight month. In the broad real estate market countywide, I am seeing signs of much needed inventory relief. Homes are popping up but not quite fast enough to satiate the hordes of buyers, so prices may still remain firm as the busy summer months arrive.

The Broadstone now named “Broadstone Claro” has fully erected the tower crane on Block 17 that will support the seven story project over the next 18 months or so of primary structural build. New architectural renders were shown in a Columbian article last week. The construction should see rapid change now that the crane is operational.

This building will likely have very limited views from the day it opens as the 12 story Springs Tower directly south on Block 18, will begin construction around the new year. The vibe I am getting from this project is that it will be very nice, but perhaps not quite as ‘plush’ as the Columbia nearing completion kitty corner on Block 20.

Phase one of the new Aegis project just west of the historic Academy building took a big step in their construction erecting the tower crane base that will become the 4th active tower crane in the Downtown area. I have been very excited about this project since its original proposal a few years back. Many locals were concerned, and rightfully so, about the impact on the historic Academy building that was erected in 1873. I feel that the developer, Marathon out of Wilsonville, OR has done a great job tying the project aesthetically into the campus and in the end it eliminates the ugly parking lot that it replaces. Marathon is also pushing through the second phase of the project that will be ever slightly larger and will include significant structured parking.

The Holland twin tower project on Block Ten Downtown is nearly topped out as is the AC Marriot Hotel on Block D at Terminal One. Those cranes likely have about six to eight months before they come down. There is a chance that Downtown Vancouver may have eight cranes operating simultaneously by the first of the year as the Springs, Hurley’s Washington Street Apartments, and the two Terminal one towers on Blocks A and C are likely to be underway as well. I do not think Vancouver has EVER had eight tower cranes at once.

I have been receiving inquiries about the Kirkland Tower and at this time I am still waiting for pricing and availability on those units. The 12 story tower should be open sometime this summer, possibly towards the end of August. I would expect details very soon.

So goes another busy week in America’s Vancouver things are still rather robust and with the Governor reducing restrictions to the best levels since the pandemic began let’s hope Summer 2021 is as awesome as I think it will be.

The Springs Inches Closer to Reality

The Vancouver Business Journal reported news that confirms Barry Cain’s comments last month that the Springs Living will start construction on the 12 story senior living tower in early 2022 with an estimated completion in 2024. The updated architectural drawings show a beautiful building that steps up from 6 stories at the street to 9 stories midway and 12 stories on the waterfront side. This project is planned for block 18 direct east of the nearly complete Columbia apartment building that should wrap up in the late summer or early fall.

The 500 Broadway building that houses the Frontier Block Condominiums on floors 5 and 6 suffered damage in the lobby, first floor and basement after a pipe burst. Some homeowners may have had minor damage to goods stored in the basement lockers. Frontier Block is a lovely condo project with spacious units offering solid views of either the urban Vancouver skyline, Columbia River, or high Cascades. There are currently no units listed in the building but I have it on good authority that a unit or two will be listed in the next few weeks.

The urban condos in Vancouver saw similar activity over the last week as we have seen all year. Things are still tight as far as inventory but buyers remain cautious on pricing. Overpriced units will sit while well priced units are quickly snatched up. This runs in contrast to the overall market where overpriced units still see strong activity. That may change as the spring rush of listings intensifies.

In other news Washington State is scheduled to be fully open by June 1 according to the latest from the Governor’s office. That is good news so lets hope we can put this COVID-19 nightmare behind us and move forward continuing to make Vancouver USA the best compact urban city in America.

Summer 2021 Should be Better

The Oregonian recently published a lengthy article about the state of Downtown which included a poll of 600 residents in the area that was most unfavorable. Portland leaders need to look in the mirror to find the fault because local leadership or lack thereof is entirely the problem. Although The Oregonian seemed to suggest some blame on external politics like Donald Trump and the George Floyd situation, they also seemed to recognize that Portland needs to clean up its act if Downtown is ever to recover from the nightmare that was 2020. I do not think Portland has what it takes to do so, and the confidence levels from both the citizens and private sector business remain scary low.

Meanwhile on the sunny side of the Columbia, Vancouver city officials should be vary careful about how they choose to deal with the issues as they arise here on the north shore. There is a troubling number of new homeless encampments along Interstate 5 on our side of the river. Although compassion for those struggling should always be apart of our value system, leaders often confuse compassion with enablement. Creating an environment conducive to public camping is not a good idea. Providing an opportunity for homeless people to recover from a negative financial situation and gain placement in the workforce and permanent shelter is good for the homeless and good for the local economy which needs people desperately. But studies continue to show the disturbing trend among homeless that many do not wish to return to the workforce, permanent housing, or society at all. I think the city will find that the overwhelming majority of citizens in Vancouver are opposed to grotesque camps along our streets, highways, and in our parks with litter blowing in the breeze. I’m surprised all the environmentalists are eerily silent on this important issue as plastic debris continues to make its way down stream into the Pacific Ocean. Homelessness in Portland and now even a bit in Vancouver is an environmental catastrophe. It also works strongly against all the city efforts to create a great space for the public Downtown and on the Waterfront.

City leaders are wise to continue funding the broad base of homeless services for those that want to improve their circumstances. Likewise the city needs to clear the illegal camps from along the highway, our public streets, and parks as these create environmental problems, safety issues, and reduce the nearby property values. These can lead to less development and loss of jobs as employers leave and choose a better environment for their company and employees. Portland is experiencing this right now and it is going to lead to severe shortfalls in the city budget over the coming years after federal COVID funds dry up.

Vancouver needs to continue to be the better alternative to Portland. Right now we are better, but I fear some on the council have the same mindset as Portland, that is not good for Vancouver. The city has a lot of our money invested in the urban core, and they need to be good stewards of our investment as well as the private investment pouring from all over the country.

COVID-19 is on the wane and hopefully this summer will be closer to ‘normal.’ Having a buzz of activity at Esther Short Park and the Waterfront is good for all the businesses in the area and certainly adds that lively atmosphere that most Downtown residents enjoy.

Meanwhile progress continues on numerous projects in and around the city center. Pressure on the price of building materials may lead to some slowdowns and or delays. The country seems to be headed into an inflationary cycle. Hopefully the projects underway will not be stalled out as a result of supply shortages, but that could already be playing a role in the delay of three very large projects on the waterfront, Indigo Hotel, Kirkland Tower, and Columbia all seem to be a bit behind schedule. Meanwhile the tower crane base was installed at Block 17 over a week ago, but the crane remains unassembled. That could also be a supply delay, hard to say. Holland is well underway with the large Block Ten project, the office tower is about two thirds of its final height and there are two more floors on the residential tower yet to rise up. After a couple of weeks since Pence Construction set the fencing up around the site of Aegis at the Academy, trees are being removed and significant groundwork is underway. There should be a crane going up on that site soon.

The urban condo market saw modest activity last week. Very few new listings and a few more pending and closed sales so things are a tad tighter now. A unit at the Academy Square was listed and sold just a couple days later. Those units do not stick around long.

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High End Units are going FAST!

Another Tidewater condo went pending in just matter of 2 days, this one a smallish 2352 SF listed at $1.4 million. These Tidewater units over the last few months are selling faster than much more affordable units in places like Parkview and Heritage Place. We all know by now this market is pretty hot, but high end property typically moves at a slower pace than middle priced property all else being equal. Something is driving this seemingly disproportionate activity in the luxury condo market here in Vancouver.

One thought is that Portland exodus is a real thing and perhaps many Rose City condo owners are moving out and pressuring the local market here. COVID-19 has altered the work flow and many former office workers are now content to work from home, some employers seem to like it as well. Others have suggested that a return to a more traditional office environment is desired. So what is the driving factor? Frankly it is a bit of both and Vancouver has become the darling of the metro area over the last couple years.

For those in Portland living in an urban neighborhood such as the Pearl District, South Waterfront, or Lloyd District, will not find many non-Portland locations that offer all the urban amenities and walkability they are accustomed to. Vancouver however is a notable alternative to Portland with the only “real” city living outside Rip-City in the entire metro area. This could be a major factor in the high end condo sales outpacing marketing times of much more affordable units. Portland’s Pearl and South Waterfront have had extremely expensive condos for quite a while with pricing much higher than Vancouver. Vancouver feels like a value when moving from those two neighborhoods.

For buyers seeking a home in that challenging $300-$400k price range, an urban condo in and around Esther Short Park could be a great alternative to a suburban single family home. These condos are not under as much buyer pressure as suburban properties so buyers may not face the crazy bidding wars that beat down buyers in suburbia. I wrote last week about urban living not being a match for everyone, but how many buyers have actually considered it enough to make that determination. Buyers in the mid market should at look at urban condos and think about the prospect of living the ‘city life’ before deciding on a suburban single family home. Buyers looking at a $400,000 SFH will have to give up space in an urban condo with units at that price range likely have a third less floor space and no yard. But the walkability and social life opportunity is vastly improved Downtown versus the ‘Burbs’.

Be sure to subscribe for exciting new information on restaurant openings, reviews along with buying, selling, and renting information in the booming Vancouver city center.

Is Urban Condo Living for You?

The “Downtown” living concept is not necessarily for everyone. There are advantages and disadvantages to living in a dense urban area filled with condos and apartments. Anyone thinking about this lifestyle ought to spend some time evaluating it before buying a condo unit.

The urban lifestyle allows people to walk to many if not all of the regular activities in their life. In suburbia the automobile is a mandatory prerequisite for a convenient living arrangement. In Downtown Vancouver or any other dense urban center, a car is truly optional. But owning a car while living in a mid-rise or high-rise residential building often comes with additional “issues.” Parking is at a premium and may require a monthly fee if not specifically deeded with the unit. Additionally urban properties often have structured parking in a garage that is a fair bit of a walk/elevator ride from the unit. Multiple trips from car to house can be a cumbersome task.

Friends and family coming in for a visit may find parking a hassle requiring a short walk and/or expenses for parking in the neighborhood. Also families with small children have a very different situation regarding playgrounds and street play. Many parents choose the suburban alternative when raising children.

The ideal candidates for this lifestyle are generally retired persons or young professionals looking for low maintenance living and proximity to exciting activities. People with long hours and busy schedules tend to prefer being close to ‘everything’ and retired people like the walkability and low maintenance of urban condos.

Urban condos generally offer good security as well. Most of the mid-rise and high-rise buildings have private secure lobbies. Units several floors off the ground tend to be safe from unwanted intrusions. The city center atmosphere is going to be noisier than the suburban life and much noisier than rural life. There will be an ever present ambient noise level that is much louder than what you find in the burbs. The streets will be a bit more crowded as well, but the level of activity provides an exciting buzz that leads to a feeling that there is always something to do and you can walk to it.

Vancouver USA has a fantastic urban core but whether going completely car free is doable depends largely on the lifestyle and work arrangements of the individual. Once the new market goes in at 15th and Main the “walk score” for much of Esther Short, Arnada, and Hough neighborhoods should be in the upper eighties to low nineties. But getting out of town will still require private transportation to maintain a reasonable level of convenience. However a couple or small group of people could easily share a car where as the tendency in car-dependent suburbs and rural areas is a car for every adult. Cars are expensive to own and maintain, so urban living with fewer cars or zero cars can save a fair bit of cash each month.

It comes down to lifestyle, living in the urban core is exciting and fresh with lots of activities, events, restaurants, bars, breweries, pubs, etc. and all in walking distance. But the urban life tens to be noisier and a bit busier so it may not be for everyone, but it just might be for you.

This past week saw some closings and pending sales but only one new listing and that one went pending right away. It seems like the busy buzz of our local market is affecting the urban condo scene as well.

Last week in a televised interview, CEO of Gramor Development, Barry Cain indicated a likely start on the Springs Living 12 story senior living tower should be in January. That’s good news, that looks like an exciting project. I also received word last month from an official at Summit Development Group that Timberhouse on Block 3 ought to break ground this month. Looking forward to another exciting summer of new construction, new restaurants and things to do in Downtown and the Waterfront.

Flurry of Activity in Condo Sales

Several new condo listings appeared on the MLS this past week, but more went pending than arrived. Condo inventory in the urban core got even tighter this past week. It seems we are moving towards a traditional spring listing bump but also hungry buyers are waiting to snatch them up. The last two listings in the exclusive and rather expensive Tidewater Cove closed last week leaving none of the seven figure priced units available for sale. How many of these units former owners are waiting to grab one of Dean Kirkland’s waterfront tower homes? It will be interesting to see how that plays into the success of this important project.

Several modestly price condos went pending this week as well and it is quite possible that the severe shortage of single family homes in Vancouver may be pushing buyers into condos both in suburbia and the city center. Despite Vancouver having a tight inventory on urban condos the activity around new listings up until now have been less frantic than the multiple offer in the first hours of listing scenario that has plagued buyers for median and sub-median detached houses in Vancouver. Buyers frustrated with the multiple offers over ask might consider the urban living lifestyle Downtown as things are a tad more relaxed.

Meanwhile DosAlas restaurant is scurrying about getting that venue ready for a projected May opening. This will fill the upper floor of the “Jean” building above Wildfin and overlooking the Grant Street Pier. The Jean is now fully leased. There is only a small amount of remaining space in the “Don” building for additional tenants. A small space upstairs next to Barlows will be the next restaurant space and completely fill the two buildings that form part of the public centerpiece around Grant Street Pier.

The renovations on the Vancouver Landing and public dock are moving along nicely and the AC Marriot Hotel is built up about halfway to its final height right behind the cruise ship landing. A large mobile crane is parked in front of the last bits of the Red Lion at the Quay and it appears to be a wrecking ball operation. We are still several years away from replacing the 100 plus year old Terminal One pier, but the demolition of the Quay may be underway soon. I wonder what the Port Authority will do with the space while we await funding for the new pier and future public market?

Block Ten is rising top nicely now about 2/3 the way to its final height. It is really nice seeing the last of brewery complex blocks becoming a new development. I’m sure the city is happy too after holding that property for 30 years. This project will have 110 units of apartments in the west tower (right side of picture) and office space in the east tower.

There is quite a bit of construction happening in the city center and this translates to jobs, economic activity for the local businesses and over the next couple of years lots of new residents!

Sunshine in the Sky and on the Ground

It’s rather sunny this week and the outlook for commercial and residential development in Vancouver is also very sunny right now. Several large scale urban residential projects are now or very soon to be underway. The Broadstone development on Block 17 at the Waterfront has its tower crane base in place. The crane will go up as soon as the concrete is set. The Aegis project is also underway, but that one will have a fair bit of ground prep before a crane goes up. I am still betting on a May groundbreaking for the former Timberhouse project now dubbed, “The Third” on block 3 of the waterfront.

For all the young families that are moving into the urban core, a brand new elementary school is going up. This school was originally part of the Library Square project that seems to be rather quiet at the moment. The school was to be among three to four mid-rise and high-rise structures on the former Carr dealership property on C Street just south of the library. That school is now rising up behind officer’s row across from Clark PUD on Fort Vancouver Way at Mill Plain. The school is still using the working name “Downtown Elementary” we will see if that holds up.

Activity continues at a brisk pace on Block Ten as the multi tower project is now rising above the two story podium. The office tower is an all concrete and steel affair on the east side facing Washington Steet while the residential tower will have the upper 5 floors in wood frame. Although this project is a little smaller in scale than Holland originally proposed, it is still a full block development with six and seven story towers. It also fits in with its surroundings nicely. I look forward to watching this rise up over the next several months.

Meanwhile, down on the waterfront a bustling construction environment continues. Kirkland Tower and the Indigo Hotel are inching closer to completion. It looks like the Hotel is still on track to open first perhaps in mid-summer with the 12 story condo tower looking more like a late summer opening. We shall see. That is a big project valued somewhere in the $100 million range, COVID and the supplies shortage has likely played a role in delaying this one some six to eight months. There hasn’t been a lot of interior renders for the hotel since the project was approved in 2018. But this is an open atrium hotel. There will be an open area on the second floor with floors 3-8 rising up around it and a giant skylight roof at the top will shower natural light below. This is going to be one of the nicest hotels in the entire Portland-Vancouver metro-area.

Another hotel is rising up really fast on Terminal One. Vesta Hospitality is working hard to get this seven story AC Marriott up right in front of the cruise ship landing that is under a complete renovation right now. I also could not help but notice a second mobile crane hovering over the remnants of the old Red Lion at the Quay. It looks ready to smash the porte-cochère that still stands along with parts of the old hotel. So long Quay! I hope the Port of Vancouver USA decides to keep the “Quay” reference perhaps calling the future open air market the “Market at the Quay” or something 🙂

In condo news, there was a flurry of new pending sales this past week. Two were new listings that sold quickly. The inventory Downtown condensed a bit while things at Columbia Shores were neutral.

More New Starts… Busy Summer Ahead

Last Thursday I updated the Broadstone at Block 17 Waterfront page on this site. There is a new full block perimeter fencing around the site with preparation and grading underway. It looks like Broadstone is ready to start. That is good news as the project should bring in $25-35 million to the local economy during construction and another 177 apartment units to market likely in Q2 2023.

Meanwhile at Terminal one, progress is moving steadily as the 7 story hotel is rising up behind the Cruise Ship landing. According to a press release by the Port of Vancouver and discussed in The Columbian on Thursday, the port signed a 50 year ground lease for blocks A and C. The lessee is shown as BOZ PORT OF VANCOUVER OWNER LLC which is a joint venture of Lincoln Property Company in Dallas, Texas and local firm, Bridge Investment Group. This project was teased a year or so ago and the drawings were presented in the preliminary review process. The Terminal One project is scheduled to start construction later this year and should produce close to $70 million in construction value.

I have been reporting on the 400 Washington Street block project recently. I noticed that the Hyatt Place Hotel development was approved nearly a year ago and nothing was happening. That isn’t a surprise, what with the COVID pandemic wreaking havoc on hotel business in general. But then I noticed Hurley presented a full block, 170 unit apartment proposal in front of the CCRA last year and I began to opine on this very site about the potential replacement of the Hyatt project. Last week The Columbian newspaper reported that Hurley Development is moving ahead with the full block proposal for the apartment building. Hyatt is dead, Washington Apartments is a go.

I was able to reach a lead contact at Summit Development the developer behind the Timberhouse project on Block 3. They are aiming for a May start pending some final permitting. I am excited about this project and look forward watching it rise over the next two years.

I mentioned activity at the Academy site for Phase 1 of Aegis. I have not heard from Marathon Acquisitions and Development yet, but it looks like they are ready to go. There is no underground parking on this project but I’d imagine there is a fair bit of ground prep due to the fact that the lot is a bit raised off the street surface at the north end. That may take a while to get prepped before we see the structures rise up.

I reached out to Kaiser + Path in Portland to inquire about the Trestle project proposed in 2019 for Block 14 at the waterfront. They are no longer pursuing that project. I have no other information from the developer, but I wouldn’t rule out issues with getting permitted on high-rise CLT of that height. This was to be a 16 story residential tower rising up to about 185 feet. It would have been the tallest CLT structure in the USA. CLT is an exciting new trend in building but is not without its detractors. It is disappointing that the project is not going to proceed. Hopefully we will see a future proposal from Kaiser + Path as they are a bold designer of projects that stand out in a crowded urban space.

Locally the urban condo market continues at a similar pace as it has over the last several months. Listings ticked up and so did sales. These are exciting times in Vancouver USA.