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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
June 6, 2023

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Port plans commercial hub at Camas’ Riverside Bowl Skatepark

Commissioners discuss food carts, anchor tenant at revamped site


The Port of Camas-Washougal has launched an effort to develop a small commercial hub at the site of the city of Camas’ revamped Riverside Bowl Skatepark.

Port commissioners approved a resolution during their March 15 meeting that authorizes the port to apply for a $50,000 Community Economic Revitalization Board grant to fund a feasibility study for the project.

“I think it would be an excellent opportunity to look into the feasibility of what that piece of land can be used for (to benefit) both cities, and it’s nice that the port can be involved with the grant,” port Commissioner Larry Keister said during the meeting. “That piece of property has been vacant for some time. That skatepark is very popular — it’s been a success for a number of years. I think this is an excellent opportunity to see what we can do to improve that (area) for jobs and recreation for our community.”

The port intends to develop a request-for-quote document “to hire an engineering consultant to help us lay out the site, develop an infrastructure layout plan and guide us through the permitting process for this initial phase for the future development of this site,” according to the resolution.

“Being a commercial site next to a park, one of the things that we looked at was (providing) a start for small incubator businesses (like) food carts,” port Chief Executive Officer David Ripp said during the meeting. “(Also, we’re looking at) having what I call an anchor tenant, a building that would have some types of retail manufacturers and smaller businesses — beer, food or even recreational, somebody making skateboards or stand-up paddleboards or something like that.”

The Camas City Council approved a $350,403 bid from Lee Contractors of Battle Ground in December 2022 to revamp the 21-year-old skatepark with poured-concrete elements.

The skatepark, located a few blocks west of the Camas-Washougal border at 2900 N.E. Third Ave., sits next to the space where the former Riverside Bowl roller-skating rink and dance hall once stood.

Camas Parks and Recreation Director Trang Lam said during a March 2 council meeting that the skatepark’s neighbors, who own the vacant parcel that used to house the roller-skating rink, are interested in doing a seasonal food-cart project at the site this summer.

“Hopefully, the (food-cart) pod will line up with the opening of the skatepark,” Lam said. “And hopefully, with the Port (of Camas-Washougal)’s help, we can get some permanent commercial (businesses) there.”

The revamped skatepark is scheduled to open this summer, Lam said.