Developer buys another downtown Vancouver building

Hurley Development new owner of former Pacific Tower; firm has targeted city's urban corridor

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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photoRyan Hurley, president of Hurley Development, stands inside the entrance to his latest downtown Vancouver property acquisition, the four-story former Pacific Tower at 915 Broadway.

(/The Columbian)

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Another downtown Vancouver building has sold to Hurley Development, a local company in its fifth year of snapping up real estate in this city's only urban corridor.

The former Pacific Tower building at 915 Broadway sold for $3.2 million to Ten Talents Investments 5 LLC, according to Clark County property records. The company is registered to Ryan Hurley, whose work has helped cultivate a crop of downtown businesses. Hurley views the building's location at Broadway and Evergreen Boulevard as crucial to his budding mix of commercial tenants, regardless of the outcome of the proposed $3.4 billion Columbia River Crossing project to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge.

"We see this building as having a key and strategic location to the downtown core, both from a traffic standpoint and also in relationship with the library and the Evergreen corridor to Officer's Row," Hurley said.

The building has more than 40,000 square feet of space in four stories above ground and a fully renovated basement. It is 100 percent occupied, with commercial tenants that include Keller Williams Realty, Paramount Equity, Thompson & Associates CPAs, Palena & Associates, Identity Clark County and Hurley Development.

Work has already begun to spruce up the building with exterior paint and landscaping, as well as makeovers its main interior lobby and the smaller lobbies on each floor.

The building's seller was Suzanne Pietz, owner of EP Properties in Vancouver. Pietz is the daughter of the late Ed Pietz, who co-founded the Red Lion Hotel chain.

The buyer, Hurley, arrived on Vancouver's downtown scene in 2009, with his first city center project, a $1.5 million rock-climbing venue now called The Source Climbing Gym on the southwest corner of West 12th and Main streets. Its owners from Portland-based Climbing Management Group have said the facility draws clients from the entire Portland-Vancouver metro area.

Hurley, 39, oversaw the site acquisition, planning and development for the gym. The Prairie High School alum said he learned the ins and outs of the development business by working as a project manager for Hinton Development Corp., a Vancouver-based developer of industrial property.

"During the downturn, I started my own small development company," said Hurley, who launched Hurley Development in October 2008.

With the help of capital provided by silent investment partners, Hurley has purchased and resold the former two-story downtown home of Koplan's Furniture and its attached annex -- spaces now occupied by Web design firm Gravitate and Thai Orchid restaurant. He also bought and renovated the side-by-side vacant Main Street buildings that once made up the old five-and-dime Boyd's 88 Center at 806 and 808 Main St.

"The 806 building was Vancouver's original JC Penney's," said Hurley, who invested about $450,000 to remodel the spaces. The Calvary Chapel now leases 806 Main and high-tech apps maker Woobox now takes up second-floor space at 808 Main St.

Hurley said a shop called Boomerang is planned for the ground-floor space at 808 Main St.

"The two big pushes I've seen are high-tech (companies) and restaurants, which are critical to the downtown culture," he said, adding that he was drawn to the downtown core for its pure urban characteristics, such as its grid of city blocks.

"It has struggled with its identity in past years," said Hurley.

He believes the area's personality has begun to develop.

"I get a call from two or three users (potential tenants) a week who are looking for space downtown," Hurley said.