A land sale on extremely generous terms has set the stage for development of a new Fort Vancouver Regional Library branch in Brush Prairie.
The site is part of the Bowyer Marketplace development at Northeast 119th Street and 112th Avenue, near Prairie High School. The vacant property is immediately south of the WinCo Foods supermarket, fronting Northeast 119th.
Vancouver developer Killian Pacific has sold the 0.96-acre parcel to the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District Foundation for much less than its market value.
The property was appraised at $1.4 million, according to Fort Vancouver Regional Library District officials; it was acquired by the foundation for $200,000 plus closing costs.
The transaction is called a “bargain sale donation,” said Rick Smithrud, executive director of the nonprofit library foundation.
Library trustees voted at Tuesday night’s board meeting to acquire the land from the foundation for the same price: $200,000.
The new library will be about 9,000 square feet. It will serve the rapidly growing residential neighborhoods east and west of Highway 503 between Orchards and Battle Ground.
With no library nearby, residents of the area currently must choose between the Battle Ground, Cascade Park and Vancouver community libraries, as well as The Mall Library Connection at Vancouver Mall.
“We’ve been talking about a library branch in northeast Vancouver since I got here,” said Amelia Shelley, who became the library district’s executive director in 2015.
The property will have to be transferred before the library district can begin to work on the project. That should happen within 30 days, Smithrud said. Library administrators have not yet discussed funding options for the project.
Community-based efforts also are underway to replace libraries in Ridgefield, Washougal and Woodland. The northeast Vancouver branch is a separate initiative.
“It won’t supercede anything that we’ve been working on for several years,” Smithrud said.