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Waterfront Gateway district plan developing in Vancouver

There has been a buzz about the transformation of Vancouver’s waterfront. Now there are plans to keep that momentum going by redeveloping some city land next door.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A slice of land between Vancouver’s waterfront and Esther Short Park is set for development, adding mixed use development and public open space and amenities between the two districts.

The Waterfront Gateway District is getting set to be built on about six acres of city owned land. The city's principle economic development planner John Collum said it will both fill a gap and stand alone as a destination.

“Waterfront Gateway it sits right in the middle, it's a donut hole. And it's going to be a great mixed use project to tie those two district together,” explained Collum.

A lot of planning has already gone on based on public input. The latest renderings show office and retail space, and housing, including an affordable housing building.

There will also be two and a half acres of open space; this will be plaza and pedestrian-oriented development. It will include a lot of room to walk around and enjoy the sights, including the lights. One section is already dubbed the Lantern District.

“We’re sort of energizing the site through a creative and interesting lighting program that will really help make this a destination and a signature attraction for the citizens of Vancouver,” said Patrick Gilligan, an executive vice president with developer LPC West.

KGW checked the project out, where the city and developer had set up a display in east Vancouver. They picked a popular farmers market to show off the project and get some more input from people like Sherry Nash.

“I really didn’t have an idea that they were moving forward in this way, but I think it’s a great thing,” said Nash.

Nash appreciated learning about the plan to build a place that she feels supports the values of people coming together.

“Families being allowed a place to interact together and make memories; enjoy each other,” Nash commented.

Those things are already happening on Vancouver’s increasingly vibrant waterfront and there is more to come there.

Project planners and developers for the Waterfront Gateway District see even more variety with what they have planned, as they bring the area between waterfront and downtown together for everyone in the city and visitors from everywhere else.

The city of Vancouver is expecting to reach a final agreement with the developer in the next few months then work should start late next year and is expected to be complete by the end of 2025.

If you want to weigh in on the project you can do it online, or by attending a future outreach effort. The city has two others planned:

  • Downtown Vancouver Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 6th & Esther Streets
    • Walking tours of the Waterfront Gateway site will begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please check in at the booth in front of the Slocum House at Esther Short Park
  • Community Open House at City Hall: 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 415 W. 6th St.
    • Walking tours of the Waterfront Gateway site will be provided

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