The former Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay could eventually become a bustling public marketplace, in the vein of Seattle’s Pike Place Market or Granville Station in Vancouver, B.C.
But what would it look like here and when would it be built?
People got a chance Tuesday to offer design ideas at an open house, where renderings showed the Port of Vancouver’s latest hopes for its waterfront property, Terminal 1.
Pictures hung at the event space of WareHouse ’23, the restaurant that currently occupies the former hotel building, gauged what styles people preferred — such as whether its signs should lay on the roof or stand straight from the peak.
“In the marketplace, I like the light,” said Don Lamb, 71, a retired Vancouver resident, referring to a concept with more windows on the structure. “And there should be a roof over the deck because this is rainy country here.”
Landscape designs were up for debate, too. Concepts asked people if they preferred a lot of open greenery or more of a reclaimed industrial look.
Ultimately, the Port of Vancouver said it hoped to use the open house to decide on final designs for the marketplace. The Port of Vancouver Board of Commissioners will approve designs in August, before plans for funding can begin.
After that, though, the timeline gets fuzzier, officials said.
Port spokeswoman Abbi Russell said the project is still three to five years away. The port will ultimately have to replace the pier on which WareHouse ’23 and the eventual marketplace will stand. Russell pegged the total cost at around $30 million.
The project will also have to take an upcoming Interstate 5 Bridge replacement into consideration. Port CEO Julianna Marler said they are in communication with the Washington State Department of Transportation.
“We’ve taken that into consideration,” she said.
Still, many are hopeful that if the public marketplace gets built as designed, that it would be treasured by locals and house businesses like the Vancouver Farmers Market.
Sharon Nauta, of Vancouver, sells handmade crafts at the farmers market under the brand All Bottled Up with her husband. She said having the public marketplace would help her and other businesses stay busy year-round.
“I’m very excited they’re actually asking for our input,” she said. “It affects all of us. It’s a potential opportunity to grow our business.”
Gill Williams, a landscape architect working on the project, said it could also bring more visitors and tourists to the area.
“I think that market building, as conceptualized, is going to be a huge draw,” he said.