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Jan. 19, 2020

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Warrior Field picked for community commons project

Plan is for economic development hub as part of Fourth Plain Forward

By , Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith
Published:

Warrior Field has been identified as the potential future site for a community commons project, a mixed-use development aimed at providing affordable housing and promoting the economic development of Vancouver’s Fourth Plain Corridor.

The project, which would include a ground-floor commons and at least 65 apartments, would rise on the parcel at the Southwest Corner of Norris Road and East Fourth Plain Boulevard next to Vancouver Fire Station 2.

The plan is for the commons to become an economic development hub complete with a commercial kitchen, shared offices, classrooms, a community event space and an outdoor space for a satellite Vancouver Farmers Market, according to Andrea Pastor, economic development planner for the city.

Pastor said the city would host agencies focused on upstream economic development, such as Workforce Southwest Washington, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber and Lighthouse Community Credit Union.

“Its in the very, very early stages, but we’re pretty excited about it,” Pastor said.

The Vancouver Housing Authority and the city are working in partnership on the project. On Thursday, the housing authority’s board of commissioners unanimously approved a $450,000 pre-development fund to complete architectural, environmental and other pre-development activities.

The agency plans to buy the 1.7-acre surplus property from Vancouver Public Schools.

Pastor said the site is an ideal location being a rare undeveloped green field in the core of the city that’s also on a transit line. VHA vice chair Joan Caley said she hopes the project will be designed to fit in with other improvements planned for Fourth Plain.

The commons would be a big step in Fourth Plain Forward, a multiyear plan to improve the international business district along Fourth Plain roughly between Interstate 5 and Northeast 65th Avenue by strengthening small businesses, beautifying the district and making roads safer.

Those interested in getting involved in the process should contact Pastor at andrea.pastor@cityofvancouver.us. She said a community engagement process will get going over the next few months.

Transforming the field into an apartment building and about 10,000 square feet of commercial space is estimated to cost $21.2 million. Funding sources would include $1 million from the city for the commercial space, $850,000 from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund and a $7.5 million loan/bond.

If the project is deemed feasible, the housing authority will submit an application for state Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund money in September and a 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit application next year.

The apartments would be for low-income households earning below 60 percent of the area median income, which is currently $52,740 for a four-person household.

Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith
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