In the late 1800s, the north bank of the Columbia River thrived and boomed with businesses. The space was turned into a transport hub with a ferry landing, rail stops, and hotels. There were also five sawmills,two sash-and-door factories, a box factory, three brickyards, and brewery listed in the 1891 directory.
The waterfront later became a place for shipbuilding for G.M. Standifer Construction Corporation which became Vancouver’s largest employer until it closed in 1921. It then became a paper mill operated by Boise Cascade until 1996. The real estate remained dormant for 12 years until Columbia Waterfront, LLC purchased the property in which they envisioned the waterfront to be an urban gathering place for its local residents and visitors. The construction of the first phase of development began in Spring 2016 and it has finally opened to the public on Sept. 29, 2018. Now, it follows a great real estate marketing strategy to ensure the developments are occupied shortly and thrive.
Columbia Waterfront, LLC has worked closely with the City of Vancouver and its local residents to create the Vancouver Waterfront, a project master plan which includes a maximum of 3,300 residential units, approximately 1.25 million square feet of office space, 250,000 feet of retail space for restaurants, specialty shops and services. The Waterfront Park incorporated areas for picnics, biking, riverfront access, walking trails, as well as an expansive greenspace. The City’s Waterfront Park and Grant Street Pier as well as the project’s first restaurants, WildFin American Grill and Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar are all part of Phase 1 of the project. This is a $1.5 billion development spanning 20 city blocks and 32 acres.
The Waterfront planned to be a one-of-a-kind development: a community that brings nature, work, and leisure blended in the same area. The residential side of things includes a mixed-use development in its Phase I housing 63 apartment homes in the Rediviva complex and 207 apartment homes in the RiverWest complex with over 20.000 sq. ft of retail and office space for lease.
The Waterfront offers also upscale dining opportunities with outdooring seating areas. There’s also various unique retail shops, lounges, and boutiques with expansive sidewalks for strolling. The urban district is minutes away from downtown Portland, giving it an easy reach of 2.5 million residents in Metro Vancouver/Portland area. At full build out, it will house over 6,000 new residents and office workers.
Over $60 million has been invested in new infrastructure and poised to be an ideal area for urban living and working experience with its favorable tax structures, sidewalks, public art, parks, and transportation infrastructure. As the Vancouver Waterfront is expanding rapidly, the remainder of the tract have several blocks of vacant or underdeveloped land that are disconnected from high density commercial, office, and residential development. This provide prime opportunities for land development and/or business creation. With 3,300 residential units and approximately 1 million square feet of commercial space available, it is perfect for developers looking to buy individual lots and lease opportunities for real estate brokers with large tenants.
The bottom line is that buyers can still find some properties in good shape under this thresh hold. In close to the city, here in Vancouver, these will be fixers or really small houses. In the outlying areas such as Washougal and Battleground there are still opportunities for a decent sized home around 1100-1400 squares either modern and attached or older and detached. Many of these properties will qualify for a variety of financing options. Buyers need to be aware that most of the government sponsored loan products, FHA, VA, USDA, etc. have requirements that may exclude a “fixer” type house. There are other programs designed specifically for fixing up a troubled house, those a bit more complex and buyers should consult with a qualified loan officer about how they work.Here in Clark County, Washington the housing prices have been robust. Maybe just a little too robust, but none-the-less homeowners that were once underwater to the bank are now finding themselves free to sell and move up or down as the case may be. Interestingly enough, sellers are sitting tight on their homes, and this has created a flush demand for entry to mid-level homes locally.