Vancouver has an impressive pipeline of urban projects filled with mid-rise and high-rise proposals. There are more than twenty active proposals for projects that will include buildings with six or more floors in Vancouver’s urban core. Although most of these projects are mid-rise structures with 6-7 floors, there are several high-rise proposals including a few already underway.
When viewing Vancouver’s built up skyline from across the Columbia a drastic change has occurred over the last few years. This year alone will see a noticeable change in the skyline from several angles, but none more dramatic than the view across the river from Portland. I have shown photos a number of times and that should be evidence enough that Vancouver USA has already moved out of the suburb of Portland definition. Vancouver has a real city center, and already has its own ‘suburbs’ like Salmon Creek, Hazel Dell, Orchards, etc. Vancouver will always be apart of the greater Metropolitan Portland-Vancouver. But we also remain notably independent with our own infrastructure, commercial center, port and rail system, and resources. Vancouver easily can stand alone without Portland save possibly for the airport at PDX. Take a look at the transformation that has occurred just since 2017.
If we manage to avoid a major recession for the next eight years, Vancouver is poised to be a vibrant economic powerhouse by 2030. Although the Waterfront has been a major catalyst for development, it is only part of the amazing urban transformation underway. The past 20 years has seen explosive growth and redevelopment in Downtown, long before the waterfront became reality. That hasn’t stopped. Numerous proposals are making their way through the system to add more density and housing to Downtown and Midtown.
I suspect by 2030, 805 Broadway built in 1984 will no longer be the tallest office building and the venerable Smith Tower, built in 1966 will no longer be the tallest residential building. Although I do not see Vancouver building any real skyscrapers in the next eight years, we will see taller high-rises than those we have today.
Vancouver is on the verge of a historic moment; the emergence as a rival to Portland rather than a subordinate community. Vancouver hasn’t rivaled Portland as a city in over a 140 years but it is closer today than at anytime since WWII.
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