Thursday, October 6, 2022
Oct. 6, 2022

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Parking lots and green areas to trade places along Vancouver waterfront

Project is precursor to work on Kirkland's Renaissance Boardwalk development

By , Columbian Innovation Editor
Published:

Two grassy fields north of Who Song & Larry’s near the railroad tracks are going to become construction staging and parking lots, and two existing parking lots near the river are going to eventually be turned into lawns.

Kirkland Development plans to stage its Renaissance Boardwalk development project into the two fields that straddle the entrance to the Old Apple Tree Park. The empty fields are part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and are administered by the National Park Service.

The city of Vancouver is acting as an intermediary between Kirkland and the National Park Service. The city council agreed to the proposal during its Monday night meeting; the park service has also agreed.

Kirkland will use the two fields as a staging area for three years during its development of multiple buildings holding 230 residential units, retail spaces and a new public boardwalk on 2.4 acres occupied by Who Song & Larry’s and the former Joe’s Crab Shack. The former crab shack has already been demolished; Kirkland and the owner of Who Song & Larry’s say that restaurant will remain in business.

After the construction is completed, Kirkland will develop the staging areas into parking lots, and the city of Vancouver will manage them. The city will charge for parking with rates similar to downtown Vancouver, according to Patrick Quinton, Vancouver’s economic development director.

The total project will cost Kirkland Development about $900,000, according to a presentation given to city council members, who unanimously voted to approve the plans.

“From a park service perspective, they really value this improvement because it really restores the entire waterfront park area and they gain additional parking,” Quinton said.

The grass lots are occasionally used for parking for special events, and for the next three years, they’ll be unavailable, but access along the paved path to the Confluence Land Bridge and the Old Apple Tree Park will continue.

Construction is due to begin this fall on the Kirkland Development project.

“Once they have staging, they can begin early work,” Quinton said.

When the new parking lots are completed, two of the three existing parking lots on National Park Service land east of Who Song & Larry’s will be turned into lawns. The most easterly lot will remain and be improved then, also.

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