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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver approves mixed-use plan for former Hewlett-Packard site

By Anthony Macuk, Columbian business reporter
Published: August 17, 2021, 6:28pm

The Vancouver City Council gave final approval Monday to a development agreement for the Vancouver Innovation Center, a project which will revamp the 47-acre former Hewlett-Packard industrial complex in east Vancouver and redevelop the surrounding 132-acre campus into a mixed-use community.

Vancouver principal planner Bryan Snodgrass gave an overview of the project at Monday’s public hearing. Developer New Blueprint Partners and Rabina will initially focus on renovating the existing industrial buildings at the center of the site and building new ones, then adding new multi-family housing on the west side of the campus and single-family housing on the north side.

The project will require rezoning large portions of the campus from light industrial to mixed-use or residential designations.

A 20-acre section on the northwest corner of the campus will be set aside as the future site of a new middle school, Snodgrass said; there is a conceptual agreement in place with the Evergreen School District to purchase it.

The eastern side of the campus is slated to be redeveloped into a town center, which will require separate master plan approval. The overall project is expected to add up to 5,000 jobs and 1,200 housing units to the campus over a 15-year period, he said.

Read Stapleton of DOWL Engineering addressed the council on behalf of New Blueprint Partners, seeking to contrast the project’s promised outcomes with what the campus would look like if it retained its existing light industrial zoning designation.

A fully industrial campus would generate heavy truck traffic and comparatively fewer jobs, he contended, and wouldn’t fit in with the surrounding neighborhoods.

The plan calls for the heavily forested 14-acre northeast corner of the site to be preserved and used as a public park through a covenant with New Blueprint Partners. The city and developer are still negotiating the design and maintenance of the park, Snodgrass said, and the city is also negotiating to purchase the park area outright.

New Blueprint Partners and Rabina purchased the campus last summer and hosted a series of community meetings to pitch their plan to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods later that year. The initial reception was somewhat skeptical, generating a lot of questions about traffic impacts and requests for additional park space.

Some of those concerns persisted during the public comment period at Monday’s hearing, but the project also received support. Two residents expressed concerns about tree preservation and making sure the park area is maintained as planned, and another said she was initially skeptical but had come to view the project as the kind of development that Vancouver should pursue in order to avoid sprawl as more people move to the area.

Anthony Macuk: 360-735-4547; anthony.macuk@columbian.com; twitter.com/anthonymacuk

Columbian business reporter