For more than a century, the downtown waterfront area has been in private hands and inaccessible by the public. For decades the property was owned by Boise Cascade which ran a high-tech paper facility making security paper. Boise Cascade shuddered the plant in the mid 2000s. That is when the city leapt into action, securing the property through a joint public – private partnership that led to the most ambitious project in Vancouver’s near 200 year history.
A grand plan was hatched that would create a 20 block urban waterfront community on the shores of the ‘Great River of the West’. This $1.5 billion project is the largest private development in Clark County history and one of the largest in the metro area. As the project has come together the Port of Vancouver launched its plans for the complete redevelopment of Terminal One. This historic spot was the original terminal for the Port of Vancouver created over 100 years ago and happens to be immediately adjacent to the waterfront project. The Port Commission has grand plans for a $500 million dollar makeover adding a public market, hotel, office and retail as well as residential space.
The Waterfront development opened just recently with the official grand opening on September 29th, 2018. A beautiful waterfront park along with several restaurants opened. A few mid-rise buildings will open in December, 2018 and a large apartment building with retail on the main level will follow opening in the spring of 2019.
This large project will take several years to build out and larger scale buildings are on the horizon. Even now with only half of the first phase open, this has been transformative.
Dean Sorenson has been producing a series of drone videos chronicling the progress of the Waterfront. Here is the latest one.