Western Real Estate Business

OCT 2016

Western Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Western United States.

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40 • October 2016 • Western Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com A t the former site of a waterfront paper mill located 20 minutes outside of Downtown Portland in Vancouver, Washington, a new mixed-use project is taking form. Construction on Phase I of The Wa- terfront Vancouver — a 32-acre devel- opment set to feature 3,300 residential units, 1.25 million square feet of Class A office space, a boutique hotel, res- taurants and retail — is currently un- derway. Barry Cain, president of Gramor Development Inc. — the originator of the Waterfront project — notes that the former paper mill hampered develop- ment in the Vancouver area for years. "The paper mill took up all of the waterfront property in downtown Vancouver," he says. "It hampered the development of the town to have a big, ugly paper plant there. Now that we've dispensed of that and are replacing it with a really high-end wa- terfront development, we're seeing a lot of new things starting to happen in downtown Vancouver." The first phase of the $1.5 billion project will deliver a $30 million wa- terfront park with a cable stay pier; 40,000 square feet of restaurant space overlooking the Columbia River; 45,000 square feet of ground floor re- tail space; 70,000 square feet of Class A office space; 263 apartment homes; and a Hotel Indigo. A public-private partnership be- tween developer Gramor Develop- ment Inc., The City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department, the State of Washington and Columbia Waterfront LLC was formed to create the large-scale proj- ect, set to open its first phase in 2018. The focal point of the development is a half-mile long waterfront park, anchored by the cable stay Grant Street Pier designed by nationally rec- ognized public artist Larry Kirkland and illuminated by lighting designer Charles Stone. "We wanted the devel- opment to have a special waterfront park," says Cain. "The pier extends over the water 90 feet right into the middle of the river. It is a cable stay pier, so it has a big mast and cables that hold it up without any visible supports." PWL Landscape Architects designed the park, which is set to walking trails, expansive green space and areas for picnics and biking. The Columbia River Renaissance Trail will provide a five-mile pathway connecting Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver with Wintler Park, providing visitors, the office tenant and the residential community with a walkway for jog- ging, biking or simply strolling. Two buildings devoted to restau- rants will be situated alongside the Grant Street Pier, offering roughly 40,000 square feet of waterfront din- ing space. "We plan to have six res- taurants within those buildings and they're right on the water, which was important to us," says Cain. "We have two restaurants signed. Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar will occupy 8,500 square feet and WildFin American Grill will occupy 7,500 square feet. We also have a brewpub that we're working with that we will be signing shortly." The Shops on Waterfront Way will initially consist of 45,000 square feet of ground floor retail with open-air patios, offering a variety of service, soft goods and dining tenants. "The Shops will consist of all of the retail on the ground floor levels of the hotel, office and apartment buildings facing out onto Waterfront Way," says Shana Alles, director of leasing for Gramor Development. "There is quite a bit of activity — we have a number of letters of intent that are going back and forth. We are excited to make some tenant announcements within the next few weeks. " Alles notes that the retail facing the waterfront will likely consist of res- taurant space. "The shop space fac- ing the water will be mostly eateries and coffee shops — tenants that can take advantage of the wide patios and views of the river and park," she says. "On the north side, the retail will be more service-based to support the of- fice and residential components of the project." Gramor expects that the proj- ect will feature eight to 10 restaurants when the first phase open in 2018. "In the coming years, we believe that Downtown Vancouver is going to grow substantially," Cain continues. "In Washington State, we do not have a state income tax, which is a big ben- efit when comparing Washington to Oregon. There are lots of good reasons to be here in addition to the beautiful south-facing waterfront on the Co- lumbia River." Cain expects that The Waterfront Vancouver will be a top five destina- tion for the Vancouver/Portland area, and hopes that more surrounding de- velopment will follow. "We just want to have good qual- ity development follow what we're doing on the waterfront," says Cain. "The way that we're going about this development as far as the water and the pier is top notch. We hope to see more development to follow, making Vancouver even more of a draw for visitors." n THE WATERFRONT VANCOUVER TAKES SHAPE IN WASHINGTON By Katie Sloan The Grant Street Pier will anchor a half-mile long waterfront park at The Waterfront Vancouver. can evolve along with their companies, while their own- ers are able to limit the turnover expenses associated with constantly re-leasing the office when a tenant outgrows the space. In addition to flexible buildouts, collaborative common areas like indoor/outdoor gathering spaces are appealing to traditional tenants as they continue to place a stronger emphasis on a work/play culture that was previously dominated by the tech tenant. These shared spaces build a sense of community for tenants and further aid in driving long-term retention for property owners. For example, at Corporate Pointe office towers in Cul- ver City, we are in the process of transforming the court- yard into an indoor/outdoor amenity area for employees to gather and socialize. This collaborative environment will attract not only tech companies but also smaller an- cillary service providers that seek the same type of work/ play environments of their larger counterparts. Custom Artwork Tech companies aren't the only ones that want art in their office buildings. Demand for a modern workplace aesthetic is on the rise as even traditional office tenants seek innovative spaces that inspire and stimulate creativ- ity. Integrating artwork at a property is one way that own- ers are differentiating their workspaces to attract and re- tain a wide variety of tenants. In Downtown Los Angeles, for instance, office owners are infusing elements of the lo- cal art scene into a traditionally corporate district to create unique and innovative workspaces. As demand for creative office continues to rise, uncon- ventional amenities like food options, collaborative work- spaces and local artwork are gaining traction in the mar- ket. By taking note of this growing trend, owners will be able to appeal to a broad range of users, from tech startups to traditional corporate firms, who are rethinking their spaces to cater to a growing Millennial workforce. n continued from page 39

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