The Port of Vancouver USA Commission is considering a lease agreement that will help create the focal point of a new waterfront development being planned by the City of Vancouver and Columbia Waterfront LLC.
Port Commissioners Arch Miller, Brian Wolfe and Nancy Baker are currently studying a lease agreement from the port to Columbia Waterfront LLC that would provide 3.26 acres of port property under lease for 50 years, with two 15-year extensions. Monthly rent, per the proposed agreement, is $16,492, with annual increases. The commission is expected to take action on the lease agreement during a special public meeting at the port’s administrative office.
‘During the first 24 months, rent will be half of the agreed amount in order to allow us time to finish our Schedule 1 rail project and to allow the developers time to complete permitting and begin construction,’ said the port’s Deputy Executive Director Todd Coleman.
‘The developers would be able to use the property for retail, office, hotel/motel, public access, restaurants, a pedestrian plaza, and other commercial activities,’ Coleman said. ‘There’s also a provision that the developers must replace whatever parking for the amphitheater that gets disturbed.’
Coleman explained that parking could be either on-street, a surface lot, or within the new parking structure. The replacement parking must be provided to waterfront visitors free for the first five years of the deal.
The Columbia Waterfront LLC intends to use the leased property to develop a ‘core’ area for the mixed-use waterfront redevelopment of the Boise property consistent with the City of Vancouver’s City Center Vision. This lease area would be the gateway to the waterfront project via the future Esther Street extension from Esther Short Park and the downtown center as well as via Columbia Street and the extended waterfront trail.
‘The City of Vancouver is currently operating the amphitheater and public space at Terminal 1 for us, and will be working with the port and Columbia Waterfront LLC to maintain open space and access to the amphitheater,’ Coleman said.
The port maintains reasonable approval rights for the Columbia Waterfront LLC’s design for buildings on the leased property. This lease is also contingent upon the Columbia Waterfront LLC successfully purchasing the former Boise Vancouver Mill Site.
Provisions included in the proposed lease in front of commissioners allow for a perpetual easement from Columbia Street, providing access to the new development. The proposed deal is also contingent upon Boise Cascade delivering the executed land-exchange agreements that the Port Commission approved in early May.
Current leases at Terminal 1 include the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay and the Columbia Shores office complex. Columbia Waterfront is obligated in the lease agreement to negotiate in good faith with Red Lion Hotels to build a new hotel on the property; otherwise the existing Red Lion Hotels lease is not affected by the deal. Columbia Shores will not be impacted by this agreement.
Nearly $17 million in revenue will be earned by the port during the initial 50-year term of the agreement.