Proposed projects would serve Clark County hospitals

One is a parking lot near PeaceHealth, the other a medical plaza near Legacy

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

 
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Two separate projects now in the planning stage are poised to serve Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center and PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center, two hospitals at opposite ends of Vancouver.

The first is a two-story medical office proposed near Legacy Health System's Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center at the north end of the city. Vancouver-based RSV Building Solutions has applied to the county to develop the 139th Street Medical Plaza, proposed for the northwest corner of Northeast 139th Street and 10th Avenue.

The other recent health care-related proposal is a zone change request on a 4-acre parcel to build a parking lot near PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in east Vancouver.

Parking is in high demand around the medical center's campus, its neighboring medical offices and the Vancouver Clinic, said Patrick Ginn, a co-developer of the proposed surface parking complex. The site is a former landfill for construction and land-clearing debris that has not been used since 1988, according to county records.

"The purpose of the rezone is to enable it to be used as parking for PeaceHealth and other overflow parking," Ginn said. Because of its past use, he said, the tract can be used for little else.

A variety of tests have between done on the former landfill site, located between Northeast 82nd and 87th avenues and Fifth and Seventh streets, said Bryan Snodgrass, a principal planner with the Vancouver Community and Economic Development Department. "It would involve more complex and expensive engineering and construction to build on that site," he said.

Ginn said plans call or between 350 and 370 parking stalls and landscaping. Developers would consider either selling the lot or leasing it out, he said.

Meanwhile, the project to the north, the planned 139th Street Medical Plaza ,is proposed for a site on the west side of Interstates 5 and 205. But the location will someday sit on a major thoroughfare connected to Legacy's Salmon Creek hospital, which fronts 139th Street on the east side of the freeways.

That's because construction is set to start soon on the next, $43 million phase of the Salmon Creek Interchange, a $133 million project that includes a 139th Street bridge over the two interstates, according to Heidi Sause, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The plaza's scheduled completion date is the end of 2014, Sause said.

The east-west interchange will carry drivers over the freeways as part of a plan to relieve congestion and gridlock on Northeast 134th Street, the area's other major east-west route.