The Vancouver City Council authorized the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries’ purchase of the former Navigation Center on Monday, ending the city’s troubled relationship with that property.
The city had purchased the Navigation Center facility at 2018 Grand Blvd. for $4.3 million. Proceeds from the $3.7 million sale to the library district will help reimburse the city’s Community Development Block Grant and real estate excise tax, which were used in the original building acquisition for the creation of the Navigation Center.
Other proceeds will be directed to the city’s general fund, where they can be used to fund homeless services.
The Navigation Center opened in November 2018 and quickly surpassed its original target of serving at least 300 people in its first year, providing aid to more than 1,400 in six months.
But the center was beleaguered by administrative problems, and caused issues for residents and businesses in surrounding neighborhoods.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Navigation Center to close in March 2020. The closure was made permanent in March 2021 as the city moved to sell the property to the library district.
FVRLibraries had been using space in the Navigation Center building after a burst water main flooded the office and made it unusable.
The building’s other current occupant, Sea Mar, is expected to move out of the building by Feb. 28, 2022.
The city owns the existing library headquarters at the southeast corner of Mill Plain Boulevard and Fort Vancouver Way, which may eventually become home to a community performance and art school space.