Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Oct. 21, 2020

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City looks for feedback on Heights District plans

The Tower Mall site and surrounding areas seen as Vancouver’s next major urban center

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
2 Photos
A conceptual rendering of the proposed 20-year-build out of the Tower Mall redevelopment area, as viewed from MacArthur Boulevard and Devine Road looking north. An open house to present the draft plan for the area will be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at McLoughlin Middle School.
A conceptual rendering of the proposed 20-year-build out of the Tower Mall redevelopment area, as viewed from MacArthur Boulevard and Devine Road looking north. An open house to present the draft plan for the area will be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at McLoughlin Middle School. Courtesy of Rebecca Kennedy; Photo Gallery

The city of Vancouver is seeking public input on a draft plan detailing the future of the Heights District, which is being eyed as the city’s next major urban center.

City staff will solicit comment at a community open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the McLoughlin Middle School cafeteria, 5802 MacArthur Blvd., in Vancouver.

“This is the first opportunity for the public to weigh in on the draft plan for The Heights District, which reflects input received from the community over the past year,” a media release from Long Range Planning Manager Rebecca Kennedy stated. “It provides a framework for how the area will develop over the next 20-30 years.”

The draft plan includes three components: a plan for the entire 228-acre Heights District, including housing, business development and transportation; a detailed plan for the 53-acre city-owned Tower Mall site, and an Environmental Impact Statement that includes an analysis of how the proposed development might affect the area.

Originally developed as housing for wartime employees at the Kaiser shipyards, the city purchased a strategic chunk of the Heights District in 2017 to help revitalize the area.

The draft plan for that piece, the 53-acre Tower Mall property located at Mill Plain Boulevard and Devine Road, was unveiled in February.

That plan, which the city calls the Grand Loop, proposes high-density uses at the site’s center, with a residential neighborhood around Park Hill Cemetery and buildings to house creative firms along MacArthur Boulevard. The site would also include a combined 2 acres of parks scattered throughout.

During her February presentation to the city council, Kennedy told councilors that construction on any of these projects was still years away.

“People move here every day, and we need to accommodate that growth,” Kennedy said. “We’re talking about 20 years-plus for a full build out.”

Read more about the plan for the Heights District at the project’s web page, cityofvancouver.us/ced/page/heights-district-plan. The open house won’t include a formal presentation and the public is encouraged to stop by anytime during the scheduled window. Those who can’t attend the event can still view the draft plan online and offer comment for several weeks starting April 12

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