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June 18, 2021

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Port of Vancouver OKs lease for two blocks of Terminal 1

By , Columbian business reporter
Published:
3 Photos
Construction of the AC Hotel by Marriott continues at the Port of Vancouver's Terminal 1 redevelopment site. Earlier this week the port commission signed a 50-year lease with a developer who will build a mixed-use project on the northern two blocks of the site, near the railroad berm.
Construction of the AC Hotel by Marriott continues at the Port of Vancouver's Terminal 1 redevelopment site. Earlier this week the port commission signed a 50-year lease with a developer who will build a mixed-use project on the northern two blocks of the site, near the railroad berm. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The Port of Vancouver Board of Commissioners approved a lease for the northern two blocks of Terminal 1 on Tuesday, a step forward that impacts a significant portion of the site’s developable land area adjacent to The Waterfront Vancouver.

The ground lease with BOZ Port of Vancouver, a joint venture from Texas-based Lincoln Property Company and Bridge Investment Group, includes an initial 50-year term with two extension options.

The project is scheduled to break ground in the late fall with construction aiming to wrap up in early 2024, according to a press release from the port.

The two blocks will be developed in accordance with the port’s master plan for the 10-acre Terminal 1 site, which envisions the space as a mixed-use community hub. Its centerpiece would be a public market building atop a rebuilt riverfront pier.

The Lincoln/Bridge project extends across both blocks and includes street-level retail space with office and residential uses on the upper floors. The design incorporates upper-level community space in the center of the structure and a grand outdoor staircase inspired by Seattle’s Harbor Steps, according to the port’s press release.

$300M in construction

Terminal 1 is the Port of Vancouver’s original location and oldest property, located directly west of Interstate 5 and south of the BNSF Railway berm. Current port operations take place at the other four terminals that comprise the modern-day port downstream of The Waterfront Vancouver.

In the 1960s entrepreneur George Gordon Goodrich converted an old prune warehouse on the Terminal 1 pier and opened The Quay Restaurant & Bar, followed by the Inn at the Quay, which later became a Red Lion hotel.

The hotel ceased operations in 2015, although the building was home to the WareHouse ’23 restaurant and event space until the end of last year. Most of the rest of Terminal 1 consisted of surface-level parking. In 2018 the port completed a concept plan to redevelop the whole area.

The plan divides the site into four developable blocks – Blocks A and C on the north side of West Columbia Way and Blocks B and D to the south – plus the pier. The port expects the overall development to generate more than $300 million in construction, according to spokeswoman Therese Lang.

Projects underway

The public market building is still in the planning stages, but other Terminal 1 projects are already under construction. The AC Hotel by Marriott, a $50 million project from Vancouver-based Vesta Hospitality, broke ground in August 2019 on Block D, starting with a lengthy period of ground stabilization work.

Crews removed more than 700 wooden pilings that had been hammered into the ground in 1917 to support the Standifer Shipyard as it churned out cargo ships during World War I, replacing them with modern cement grout pilings to support the hotel.

Construction of the hotel building began last fall following a six-month delay that Vesta CEO Rick Takach said stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotel is scheduled to open next spring and will feature 150 guest rooms, 4,000 square feet of meeting space and an internal parking garage on the second and third floors.

Vesta’s land lease for Block D is similar to the lease for the Lincoln/Bridge project, with an initial 50-year term and two extension options.

The port’s master plan designates Block B for another mixed-use development, but the block does not currently have any specific project in the works, Lang said – although the lease for Blocks A and C includes an option for Lincoln to develop Block B at some point in the future.

South of the hotel site, the port has begun work to renovate the western half of the Terminal 1 pier, which has been renamed Vancouver Landing and will reopen as a public space with connections to the Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail. The project is scheduled to wrap up in late 2021.

The eastern half of the pier is in poorer condition and is slated to be demolished along with the former Red Lion hotel building, then rebuilt to support the future public market center.

Demolition is planned for later this year, possibly extending into early 2022, Lang said. Construction of the marketplace will follow after the port secures full funding for the project and goes through the planning and permitting process.

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