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June 26, 2022

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Long-planned pier, restaurants on track to open in summer

Gramor shooting for July 1 opening of Phase 1 of The Waterfront Vancouver

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
4 Photos
The Grant Street Pier at The Waterfront Vancouver is starting to take shape as construction crews attach the pier cables Thursday. Two restaurant buildings and the pier are on pace to open in July, officials said.
The Grant Street Pier at The Waterfront Vancouver is starting to take shape as construction crews attach the pier cables Thursday. Two restaurant buildings and the pier are on pace to open in July, officials said. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The first drinks and plates of food sold to the public at The Waterfront Vancouver could be served within seven months, on July 1.

That’s the deadline given out Thursday by Matt Grady, vice president of development for Gramor Development, while walking through the industrial husks that stand there now.

“We’re probably 90 percent done (on the buildings),” he said. The waterfront has been more than a decade in the making, so when asked how he felt, Grady responded: “It’s monumental.”

Blocks 9 and 12, the two restaurant buildings that flank both sides of the Grant Street Pier, will have their exteriors finished by the end of the month. Then, the tenants will bring it home with their own designs and improvements — even though some tenants haven’t been announced and another has recently been cast in doubt.

Still, the waterfront has a long way to go before it matches the renderings and concept art.

Gramor, based in Tualatin, Ore., is the leading player in The Waterfront Vancouver, and it is directly involved in a few other projects besides Blocks 9 and 12. That includes roadwork, building a private park at Block 15 and getting utilities lined up for various parts of the entire 22-block development.

Other actors in the waterfront include Kirkland Development, which will build an eight-story boutique hotel and a condominium tower at Block 4; and the city of Vancouver, leading the construction of a public waterfront park and the Grant Street Pier.

The pier, a 90-foot concrete platform supported by galvanized steel cables, is about 90 percent complete, too, according to city officials. Crews will tighten the cables this month, then the pilings and scaffolding that currently support it could come out by the end of January.

Terry Snyder, who is managing the city projects at the waterfront, said the city will ask for an extension from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers so it can work past Dec. 31 and into January. The pier will be fitted with industrial lighting and it, as well as a plaza, should open in July alongside Blocks 9 and 12.

“There’s a lot to do between now and July, that’s for sure,” he said.

Restaurant blocks

Blocks 9 and 12 will offer a combined 43,000 square feet of restaurant space, yet are expected to use about half of that with the tenants announced so far.

WildFin American Grill and Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar are ready to move in and begin improvements, while Ghost Runners Brewery recently was revealed to be embroiled in an internal legal battle that threatens its future.

Grady said he doesn’t know how that will play out.

“We’ve set our goal post (to be completed) June 30,” he said. “It’s out of our control.”

Beyond that, there is space to fit two additional restaurants, he said, and they would have to make similar tenant improvements, which could take months.

Blocks 9 and 12 combined have cost of $22 million to build, Grady said. Taking in panoramic views of the river on Thursday, he said he wasn’t worried.

“This is probably the best eatery in all of Vancouver when it opens up,” he said.

Columbian staff writer

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