State offices possible on 136th Ave.

Vancouver developer mulls building that could house DSHS

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

 

A veteran developer of state government offices is floating the possibility of building a three-story structure at Northeast 136th Avenue and Ninth Street in Vancouver.

If approved, the proposed 75,000-square-foot office building could one day become a local office for the Department of Social and Health Services. The agency wants about 72,400 square feet of office space in Vancouver, according to a formal request for qualifications issued recently by the state Department of Enterprise Services.

DSHS is the most likely tenant the applicant, Vine Street Investors, had in mind when it submitted preliminary plans to Vancouver's Community Development Department, said Jennifer Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Enterprise Services.

She confirmed that Arlington-based Vine Street Investors has developed and leased numerous offices for state government agencies. Her agency has not yet had any responses to its formal request.

"The request for qualifications opens it up to proposals from developers," Reynolds said. "This one is for information to lease existing office space that's under construction or planned office space."

The state then reviews the proposals and awards the project to the winning developer or landlord.

"It's whoever comes in with the best proposal for the state and the taxpayers," Reynolds said.

Officials at DSHS were not available for comment late Friday.

Vine Street Investors' proposed three-story building would include 233 parking stalls to be developed on 6.6 acres at the southwest corner of 136th and Ninth, just north of the Firstenberg Center. Later development phases would add a two-story, 25,000-square-foot building and three retail pads for future tenants that would include a bank branch.

The site is owned by the Leroy and Mary Haagen Trust, according to county records. Dale Haagen, a longtime Vancouver developer, signed the pre-application document submitted to the city.

A conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 8.

Haagen also developed the three-building Evergreen Place complex on the east side of 136th, across the street from the Firstenberg Center. That mixed-use project was completed in early 2008, as the economy spun into a crisis that severely affected Clark County's real estate markets.

Since Evergreen Place opened, Haagen has managed to land a few retail tenants for one of two 11,000-square-foot retail buildings. He has yet to find a single-user tenant to occupy that project's two-story, 35,000-square-foot office building, which is next door to offices of Charter Communications.