New Units For Sale at Parkview!

A couple of additional units were listed this month at Parkview and these are reasonably priced. There is a large difference in price between units that face the park and those that face the interior of the Vancouver Center complex. But aside from the wide open park view that the west-facing units offer, the rest of the amenities of living at Parkview are equal. You are still right downtown, right in the thick of Vancouver USA’s urban renewal. Check out the new listings here.


New Proposal for Waterfront Block 20

The Columbian reported yesterday that San Francisco based, Jackson Square Properties has submitted a proposal for lot 20 at the waterfront. Jackson Square is no stranger to Vancouver having developed property in Vancouver already. All of the properties they did locally are more suburban style low-rise apartment complexes, so this represents something a bit more ambitious for them. In fact I couldn’t find any residential building they did anywhere with more than 4 floors.

That mentioned, the proposal is for a 7 story apartment building with 230 plus units and underground parking for 250 spaces. This project is proposed for a phase three area of the waterfront that was planned for later development beginning in 2021. They want to break ground next year. Of course lot 20 is at the far western end of the waterfront development area right up against the park and riverfront. It is a premium lot but the original idea was to reserve those western lots for taller structures since they have a higher height allowance under the FAA imposed height restrictions. At least that seems to be the case when looking at the master plan.

I suppose a shorter building at that location would help keep the value of the two blocks behind it (north) as those could have a taller structure overlooking this proposed building. I also like the idea of getting as much development done while the economy is still hot and developers and investors are excited about new projects.

I would imagine some renderings will emerge in the next few days giving us a peek at what may become of Block 20.

Vancouver Center 4 Modified, Again

Vancouver Center 4 is back in the news with the Columbian reporting in October, that construction should start in March.

Last year, Vancouver based, Holland Partner Group proposed a ten story light gauge steel structure for the site which would have housed 194 apartment units. The light gauge steel design has not been fully vetted for a west coast seismic zone so it seems that the alternative 6 story option will play out with 116 units and roughly 2000 feet of retail underneath.

Timing is important on this building for two reasons, first the city granted an extension on the special taxation / zoning of the building under the plan originally setup for the project in the early 2000’s. The structure must be done within a set time frame, which is closing in. Waiting on the seismic reporting was no longer an option. Furthermore, the building construction will be staged on Block Ten and Gramor is planning to erect their 11 story project on that block as soon as this project is complete, so again on the timing.

What I find odd is that Holland planned on a ten story structure but now according to the Columbian article is using a steel and concrete two-story base with four wood framed floors over the top. That doesn’t make sense when code allows for five floors up wood frame. The drawing from that same article shows a five wood frame up looking design over a single story concrete base. I imagine that is the plan since a seven story building was never discussed.

Steel and concrete building is time-consuming and expensive, so it is cost-effective to utilize wood framing whenever possible, especially for apartment units. If it is to be a two-story concrete base, it stands to reason the building ought to have seven floors.

Whatever the case may be, the beleaguered Vancouver Center 4 is finally going up and that is good news for downtown.

Joe’s and Who Song Could Become Twin Towers

photo from The Columbian, 12-12-2018

The Columbian reported last week that local developer, Dean Kirkland is proposing to replace the aged restaurants, Joe’s Crab Shack and Who, Song, and Larrys with a mixed use retail/residential complex of two buildings of at least nine floors each. Maybe a hotel as well.

In the article, Kirkland indicated he would be interested in retaining the two eateries for the new development. If approved these would be the two tallest buildings in Vancouver by floor count east of I-5. It is unlikely they would be taller in height than the 8 story Firstenburg Tower at Peace Health Hospital.

Although the waterfront and downtown have a flurry of activity including numerous mid-rise and high-rise buildings, this is the first such project proposed east of the Interstate Bridge.

Although neither restaurant is really outstanding they both offer reasonable fare, and excellent happy hour opportunities on the decks overlooking the river. Whether these two restaurants return to the development is not a major concern of mine, but another restaurant or two would be nice to keep the public interest in the waterfront area with both the trail and riverside dining. You hear that Mr. Kirkland?

More urban living opportunity is on the horizon.


Gramor Revises Block Ten Proposal

Gramor Development, well known for their leadership in the massive waterfront project now underway, had a preliminary approval to build out Block Ten downtown. This full city block is the last remnant of the old Lucky Lager Brewery site and Gramor proposed a full service grocery store and other ground floor retail with 5-6 floors of apartments above and 1-3 floors of parking underground.

Earlier this fall, Gramor announced a revision to the plan seeking to make the building taller with above ground parking instead of underground. The revision calls for an 11 story structure rather than a 6-7 story building. This roughly matching the height of both the Riverview Tower and the Vancouver Center 3 tower, to the north and south respectively. Renderings do not appear to be public yet.

Gramor says the ground floor would be the grocery store and other retail fronting West 8th, Washington, and Columbia streets with the parking facing West 9th and using 3 of the building’s 11 floors on the north side. Should the city smile on the project, the construction would begin in roughly 18 months with completion in 2021. According to an article in the Columbia, the Block Ten site is scheduled to serve as a staging area for the upcoming Vancouver Center 4 tower.  It seems the timing would have Gramor building out the block after Vancouver Center 4 is topped out.

A grocery store is one of the few things still missing for Downtown’s urban residents. That is soon to find its remedy.

Urban Living Begins Here

Welcome to Urban Living in the ‘Couv’. This site is dedicated to bringing you the latest news and information on Urban Residential Properties in Vancouver USA. Over the next several weeks the site will add substantial content so please check back and get ready to dive into Vancouver’s rising urban living scene.

“We’ve transformed this city from a small town suburb of Portland to a large city,” Royce Pollard, Mayor of Vancouver 1996-2010