A freshly completed mural in downtown Vancouver brightens up a trash enclosure building across from City Hall and offers a new eye-catching feature for a district already being targeted by city leaders in a major rebranding effort.
“Groovin’ & Couv’n,” the piece declares in splashes of blue, lilac, mustard and crimson, with an artistic rendering of the Interstate 5 Bridge and a pair of bicycling legs.
The mural is outside The Aria, a new six-story luxury apartment building that also serves as headquarters for LSW Architects.
Artists at Riff Creative Studio, a design offshoot of LSW Architects, conceptualized and painted the mural. According to Riff designer Corinna Scott, the piece was commissioned by David Copenhaver, president of Aria developer Cascadia Development Partners.
The mural is on the northern edge of Vancouver’s Waterfront Gateway property, a triangular, 6.4-acre plot of city-owned land. The northeast corner is home to City Hall, the Hilton Vancouver Washington and the historic Webber building; the rest is parking lots and open fields.
City planners are eyeing the property for a revamp. It’s rife with opportunity; the location, strategically situated between Esther Short Park and The Waterfront Vancouver development, could lend itself to a pedestrian-friendly urban center. Vancouver’s City Center Redevelopment Authority is soliciting proposals from developers and will continue to do so through the end of June.
John Collum, the city’s economic development principal planner, told The Columbian earlier this month that 28 developers and 14 design firms have already expressed interest in the project.
“We’re open to all possibilities,” Collum said.
In an internal email with city staff and Vancouver’s Downtown Association, Collum added that he plans to incorporate photos of the mural into a pre-submittal meeting presentation on the Waterfront Gateway project later this week, signaling that the colorful piece will serve as part of the rebranding effort.