Sunday, December 5, 2021
Dec. 5, 2021

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Apartments proposed for Jefferson Street in downtown Vancouver

By , Columbian Business Reporter
Published:

A local developer is looking to bring some residents to a part of downtown that doesn’t yet have many.

The Jefferson Street Apartments project plans to bring 89 units over four floors to where Eighth Street curves north and becomes Jefferson.

Today that site is empty pavement and a grass field, bordered by SunModo and Sunrise Bagels. Preliminary documents filed with the city show the plan for now is to bring in two buildings with a “hinged connection” with parking under the building and a “landscaped backyard community space.”

At the fringe of downtown, where railroad tracks divide Vancouver’s industrial and commercial centers, it is not the most obvious place to put an apartment complex. But with its proximity to a growing downtown and waterfront, an extremely low rental vacancy rate and continued population growth expected, it’s more than likely there won’t be an empty unit before long.

“I think it dovetails on what’s going on at the waterfront, and some of those other projects that are probably going to be on the higher end of rental pricing,” said Josh Oliva with HSP Properties, which owns the site. Apartments now planned at the nearby downtown waterfront will range from $565 for a studio to $3,700 for a three-bedroom, according to city documents. Oliva said it’s too early to say what rents at the new complex might be.

Oliva said he is applying for the city’s affordable housing tax exemption at the Jefferson Street Apartments, which means some of the units will be priced for households making 80 to 115 percent of the area’s median income.

“Ultimately there’s a demand for affordable housing in downtown, and Vancouver as a whole, and that’s reflected in vacancy rates and the fact that more is happening downtown, with new businesses and restaurants and parks and activity,” Oliva said. “People have shown they want to be within walking distance to those amenities.”

The Jefferson Street Apartments would be an easy stroll from Esther Short Park and the waterfront.

Early plans say the 89 units at Jefferson Street Apartments will range from 495 to 1,000 square feet, and there may be 84 parking stalls.

With construction planned to start next summer, the complex will add to a wave of hundreds of apartment units — some of them built under the city’s affordable housing tax exemption — opening downtown and throughout the city over the next few years.

“We think the project will deliver another housing option downtown and help stimulate the area west of Esther Short Park and leverage the recent infrastructure investments the city has made along Eighth/Jefferson and Grant Street,” Oliva wrote in an email.

He said that the project is still in very early stages and will need a more detailed application to be completed with local partners LSW Architects, Robertson & Olson Construction and HDJ/PBS Engineers.

Columbian Business Reporter
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