Economy - A study says core projects will boost tax revenue far higher than what Vancouver has invested
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
VANCOUVER -- Two downtown mixed-use developments, each valued at $20 million or more, will be announced in early 2007.
Beyond that, Steve Burdick, manager of economic development services, had little detail to reveal Monday night to the City Council.
But for Burdick and other supporters, the anticipated development is an example of why government involvement is good for the health of the downtown economy. He told the council the developments likely would not have occurred without other government-supported projects leading the way since the mid-1990s.
A study he presented to the council says the city and state should expect to reap far more in tax revenue by 2025 than they have invested in downtown development since 1996.
The study's conclusions are expected to be presented to state legislators who will consider laws in their 2007 session that might allow further investment in revitalization projects throughout the state.
The report is timely for another reason.
The council is preparing to consider adopting a new Vancouver City Center Vision & Subarea Plan. The return-on-investment study is likely to be among the selling points Burdick and others will use to promote the new plan. Council action is expected in February.
The previous downtown blueprint -- the Esther Short Subarea and Redevelopment Plan -- guided the development of Esther Short Park, Heritage Place Condominiums, Vancouvercenter, Esther Short Commons, the West Coast Bank Building and the Hilton Vancouver Washington and Convention Center.
The Esther Short Plan included a 30-square-block downtown area. The new development area would include about 130 blocks.
These are downtown properties within that area that, in the past five years, city officials have mentioned as possible development sites:
400 E. Mill Plain Blvd.: A shuttered Denny's restaurant sits on the triangle-shaped property and once was the future home of a Burgerville drive-through restaurant. Those plans fell through.
But the Al Angelo Co., which developed Heritage Place condominiums, is exploring a development on the site.
The Angelo plan has prompted Washington Department of Transportation officials to request a new review for a proposed clock tower near the apex of the triangle property, said Jan Bader of the city manager's office.
307 E. Mill Plain Blvd.: The new Burgerville, had it been built, would have replaced the Burgerville across the street, at 307 E. Mill Plain Blvd., which is the oldest continuously operating restaurant of the Vancouver-based chain.
Instead, Burgerville president Tom Mears is working with developer Elie Kassab to build a mixed-use structure with retail, offices and residential units. The development would be built on the existing Burgerville site and adjoining property, Mears said.
500 block of Main Street: The former site of the old Monterey Hotel and the Frontier Building is a grassy lot next to the West Coast Bank Building, which serves as the headquarters for developer Killian Pacific.
Killian Pacific has drawings that call for an office and retail building on the vacant lot, owned by the developer and the city.
But nothing is expected to happen there soon, George Killian said. The developer is busy with other projects.
Allan Brettman: 360-896-5746 or 503-294-5900; firstname.lastname@example.org