Study asserts Vancouver waterfront project ‘not viable as conceived’

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian Port & Economy Reporter

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The companies seeking to build the Northwest’s largest oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver have thrown a counter-punch at the developer who argues the terminal will severely curtail his plan to construct a $1.3 billion commercial/residential redevelopment of the city’s waterfront.

In a market analysis commissioned by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies — operating together as Vancouver Energy — Heartland LLC, a Seattle-based real estate advisory firm, says “that under reasonable market input assumptions” the waterfront project “is not viable as conceived, making an argument about the impacts to value from the proposed terminal irrelevant.”

Waterfront developer Barry Cain, president of Gramor Development — a member, along with local investors, of Columbia Waterfront LLC — blasted the analysis as “trash.” Tesoro and Savage are “working against the waterfront,” he said Thursday. “They’re working against what’s good for the downtown, because what they’re doing is bad.”

The Heartland analysis, which examines such factors as rents, capitalization rates, and structured parking, is included as part of a 2,161-page preliminary draft environmental impact statement submitted by Tesoro-Savage to the Washington state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

This story will be updated