Waterfront developer gets $14 million loan for pier, buildings

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer

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More money is heading to The Waterfront Vancouver, Gramor Development announced Thursday.

Banner Bank, headquartered in Walla Walla, has loaned $14.8 million to help construction of the Grant Street Pier and two large restaurant buildings beside it.

The deal is a vote of confidence for the multiyear, 20-block makeover near the northern banks of the Columbia River, bank officials said.

“In every community, a handful of unique properties become landmarks — we believe The Waterfront Vancouver project is bound to hold that moniker in Vancouver,” said Damian Uecker, a Banner Bank executive, in a prepared statement.

After the groundbreaking in 2016, construction is already pretty far along for those projects. The two restaurant buildings, at Block 9 and Block 12, can be seen rising beneath the two large cranes perched near the Columbia River.

The Block 9 building will offer 15,000 square feet of rentable space and house two full-service restaurants. Wildfin American Grill, a seafood restaurant based in Seattle, has already leased 7,600 square feet.

On the other side of the pier, the 28,000-square-foot building at Block 12 can house up to four full-service restaurants. Ghost Runners Brewery of Vancouver and Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar have already signed on.

Banner Bank’s loan is the second publicly announced infusion for Gramor Development, the Tualatin, Ore.-based project lead.

In June, U.S. Bank kicked in $42.5 million to help build a seven-story office tower and six stories of luxury apartments at Block 6. Both buildings will offer shops and restaurants at the street level.

All of those projects comprise the first phase of The Waterfront Vancouver and are expected to open by summer 2018. Gramor said in its announcement that more than $250 million has been invested into the project so far.

Block 4 sold

The Thursday announcement also revealed that Gramor has sold Block 4, a 32,000-square-foot plot at the corner of Columbia Way and Esther Street.

The buyer is Kirkland Development, a Vancouver hotel builder whose resumé includes building the Holiday Inn Express Suites and Candlewood Suites hotels on Southeast 192nd Avenue.

Kirkland had long ago announced its plans to build the Hotel Indigo, an 8-story boutique hotel, and Kirkland Tower, a condominium tower. Now it has secured the land.

The sale price of Block 4 was not disclosed.