192nd triggers building revival

Busy east Vancouver thoroughfare is a big draw for retail development

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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Commuters who pass Southeast 192nd Avenue at 20th Street are witnesses to a retail construction revival in east Vancouver. They’re also partially responsible for the resurgence.

About 20,000 vehicles a day pass the spot, just west of the border between Vancouver and Camas. The high visibility of the area attracted nine restaurant, service and retail businesses that are leasing space in the first two buildings coming out of the ground, at what is slated to eventually become a six building, $50 million 192nd Avenue Station development. The complex will anchor the northeast quadrant of 192nd and 20th, complementing an already-built companion retail center to the south, called 192nd Avenue Plaza.

Expected to open midspring, the new center will house Tropical Smoothie, Twilight Pizza and Bistro, A Barber, Pinache hair salon, the chiropractic office of Dr. Paul Scott, Bedont Orthodontics, real estate company Real Living. and the Denim & Frills Children’s Resale Boutique.

“There’s quite a bit going on out there,” said Julie Lewis, owner of Denim & Frills, which has operated its flagship store for 15 years at 10501 N.E. Highway 99 in Vancouver’s Salmon Creek area.

The 192nd Avenue store will be her company’s second location. Other businesses signed on to lease space include a Mio Sushi restaurant and a martial arts business.

“We’re looking at a midspring opening,” said Dean Kirkland, who is developing the site with partner Tom Flies of Columbia Pacific Leasing and Income Properties.

Kirkland said traffic streaming by on 192nd is the primary draw for retail tenants. The site could be even busier upon completion of a $3.5 million road project proposed by Camas to connect Vancouver’s 20th Street to Northwest 38th Avenue in Camas.

The city of Camas is waiting for federal permits to acquire property and begin work on the less-than-one-mile-long roadway, which will also serve as an additional route to the new office campus of Fisher Investments asset management firm.

“We’re working on getting the federal permitting now,” said Phil Bourquin, Camas’ community development director.

Kirkland expects space will fill up quickly in his company’s next retail project, south of 192nd Avenue Plaza. He anticipates starting work this summer on the project, to be called 192nd Avenue Plaza South.

In the meantime, Kirkland said retail businesses are relying on consumers in search of convenience near the 20th Street and 192nd Avenue intersection.

“It’s a major thoroughfare with great access to (state) Highway 14,” Kirkland said, adding that his project is on the Vancouver side of the border between the cities, but still at a main convergence between Camas and Vancouver.

“It fills the need where they don’t have to go as far west to shop in Vancouver,” he said.