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From Factories to Fabulous: Vancouver’s Waterfront is for the Future

Sponsored by The Springs at the Waterfront Vancouver
Published: March 4, 2024, 4:35am

Nestled along the banks of the Columbia River, The Waterfront Vancouver has a rich story that weaves together a pioneering heritage with modern innovation. Once populated with paper mills and factories, The Waterfront neighborhood has been undergoing a renaissance as it transitions into a desirable destination to shop, dine, and live life to its fullest. One residential option, The Springs at The Waterfront Vancouver, is bringing that same pioneering spirit to the district.

Scheduled to open later this year, The Springs at The Waterfront Vancouver is a community for older adults who enjoy a full, dynamic lifestyle. With 250 residences in this 12-story building, the community will feature commanding views of the Columbia River and an array of services and programs designed to enrich the lives of those who live there.

The Springs at The Waterfront Vancouver is the twentieth senior living community owned and operated by The Springs Living, based in McMinnville, Oregon. The company’s innovative approach aligns with the spirit of a city that has witnessed transformation and growth over decades.

The intersection of Vancouver’s rich history and The Springs Living’s origins illustrates the dynamic relationship between tradition and innovation, contributing to the ongoing narrative of a city with a storied past and a promising future.

The Springs Living was founded in 1996 by the company’s CEO Fee Stubblefield, who was raised up the river from Vancouver near Pendleton, Oregon. In 2019, Stubblefield was first approached about the opportunity to build a residential community at The Vancouver Waterfront by Barry Cain, CEO of Gramor Development, which is leading the revitalization effort there.

“I appreciate Barry’s vision for The Waterfront Vancouver and the great job he is doing to bring it back to life,” said Stubblefield. “Barry saw the potential of this land. It reminds me of the kind of vision my grandfather had in the beginning of the 20th century, as one of the pioneers who arrived in Eastern Oregon with a vision for opportunity and prosperity.”

A Glimpse into History

Not long before Stubblefield’s grandparents settled in the Pacific Northwest, Fort Vancouver was a popular spot for fur trading, turning the area into a hub for exploration and commerce. Its proximity to Portland and the strategic importance of the Columbia River contributed to the city’s significance.

As Vancouver grew at the turn of the 20th century, Stubblefield’s grandfather, Fancho, bought land that featured natural hot springs just outside of Pendleton, Oregon. There, he and his wife Lillian built and opened Lehman Hot Springs, a resort where people came from near and far to soak in the healing waters.

Lumber Mill on the Vancouver Waterfront Circa 1905.


“The hot springs are not only the namesake of our business, but they also metaphorically represent the healing nature of what we do in our communities — making life just a little easier for older adults,” Stubblefield said.

As Lehman Hot Springs was bustling with visitors, farther down the Columbia River, sawmills, factories, brickyards, and a brewery were establishing Vancouver as a vital industrial city and transport center with ferries, railway stations, and hotels for weary travelers. By the turn of the century, Vancouver became a center for shipbuilding.

“The Waterfront Vancouver has such a rich history,” Stubblefield said. “As we were preparing the lot for construction, the crew discovered some artifacts, like rusty old horseshoes which are now on display at our Home Office in honor of that history.”

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The Springs living founder Fee Stubblefield as a child with his father and grandfather at Lehman Hot Springs.


Location, Location, Location

Always on the lookout for exciting locations to enhance the lives of those living in The Springs Living communities, Stubblefield recognized that the opportunity to build a community at The Waterfront had all the ingredients of creating a unique residence for older adults. Situated along a half-mile of south-facing riverfront, The Waterfront Vancouver is a lively neighborhood with a forward-thinking take on urban living, complete with retail shops, boutique hotels, flagship restaurants, local tasting rooms, and wide-open green spaces.

As Vancouver continues to evolve, The Springs Living remains committed to its mission to innovate the way people think, feel, and experience senior living. Known for having some of the highest quality standards in the senior living industry, The Springs Living has thought through every detail of the building design, care services, and community programming that encourages social connection and personal growth.

The Springs Living: Nurturing Lives Through Community

When The Springs at The Waterfront opens its doors in autumn 2024, more than half of the residents will live independently. If personal care needs change, additional levels of care and service are available through a personalized health and wellness program.

In addition to their own private homes, residents will enjoy all the benefits of being part of a community, like concierge services, an on-site spa, swimming pool, and fitness center. Other amenities include hair and nail salons, scheduled transportation, a movie theater, and an art studio all under one roof.

Residents can enjoy the chef’s seasonally inspired menus across several venues, including a full-service dining room with a warm, brick-oven ambience, Fancho’s Public House, summertime courtyard dining, or private dining arrangements for those special occasions with family and friends.

A wide variety of fun & engaging activities & events are available on a daily basis to spark your mind, body & spirit.


The Springs at The Waterfront was designed to provide a variety of warm and welcoming common spaces designed to make it effortless for residents to participate in engaging and fun experiences through a robust calendar of events. Without the constraints of home maintenance, residents are free to focus on what really matters — enjoying family, exploring interests and passions, or volunteering with a favorite charity.

A wide variety of fun & engaging activities & events are available on a daily basis to spark your mind, body & spirit.


“The Springs at The Waterfront is about blending comfortable surroundings with the attention and kindness of people who make life just a little easier — people who understand what quality, service, and compassion are all about,” said Stubblefield.

In keeping with its values-based approach and in honor of the sustainability of the environment, The Springs Living designed the community to achieve LEED Certification and Fitwel Certification, some of the highest standards in sustainability and health and wellness.

For more information about The Springs at The Waterfront Vancouver, or to book a personalized tour, contact Senior Sales Director Candice Marcks at

(360) 696-9400
655 W Columbia Way, Suite 602,
Vancouver, WA 98660

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