A construction site now, development in Felida will become the Parade of Homes in September
It has been called a Chamber of Commerce Day. You know, maybe a couple of clouds but otherwise a splendid day weather-wise, especially when gathering for an outdoor event.
On Wednesday, it was a Building Industry Association of Clark County Day as organizers of the 2023 GRO Parade of Homes toured the site that will become the parade in September.
This week, construction on one home is in full swing while three others will soon rise at the Ashbury Development in Felida, just next to Foley Neighborhood Park. This year’s parade begins Sept. 8.
Bart Hansen, the executive director of the BIA, is excited about the 45th edition of the Parade of Homes.
“It gives the builders in the community the chance to showcase their work. It also gives the public the opportunity to see what’s new and innovative in the building industry,” Hansen said.
GRO is once again a title sponsor of the parade. The Vancouver-based landscaping company enjoys working with builders to create. As Alexa Lee of GRO said, GRO is there to help things grow.
“Outdoor living became really important … the last couple of years when, as you know, a lot of people were forced to stay home,” Lee said.
There were a lot of “wow” moments at last year’s Parade of Homes, not just from the inside of the homes, but from the landscaping outside of the new homes. Just call them Zen tranquil spaces, Lee said.
Last year’s event drew approximately 10,000 visitors.
The 2023 homes will feature the latest in innovation, said Danielle Kilian, the events director for the BIA. The builders have not just said what, exactly. It’s a surprise until the parade opens.
“It’s always fun to see a feature no one else has seen,” Kilian said.
The GRO Parade of Homes is just one of many things that the BIA supports. Yes, the parade of homes features luxury properties, but the BIA is also looking at ways to find housing for all, Hansen said.
“It’s definitely eye opening when it comes to getting people housed in our community,” said Hansen, who is also a Vancouver city councilmember. “How are we going to make housing affordable? The only way we’re going to make housing affordable is to build affordable housing and make it affordable to build. Right now, it’s very difficult to do.”
Hansen has been the executive director of the BIA of Clark County since September.
“We want to give opportunities for folks to be able to own a home and have a yard and live in this community and not have to commute from so far away,” Hansen said. “Working to make housing affordable is definitely a focus.”
He said there should be a mixture of building rental units and single-family homes. Hansen said right now that three-quarters of the new housing in Vancouver is apartments.
“We need more rental units in the city of Vancouver. No question about it. At the same time, we have to offset that with the opportunity to buy, as well,” Hansen said. “You’re seeing a lot more single family homes coming up in the county. Which means a commute. Which means a heavier burden on transportation, a heavier burden on services such as sewer and water. All these things have to be considered. These are the things we are focused on at BIA.”
For current homeowners, and for homeowners-to-be, the Parade of Homes can be a place for inspiration. Maybe some will see a new kitchen and want to remodel their homes. Or see a great feature in the backyard and say, we can do that at our house.
For now, the site of the Parade of Homes is under construction.
“I would encourage people to follow us on social media for progress shots,” Kilian said. “It’s really exciting to see them go from the ground to what will be at the show in September. It goes really fast.”
On instagram, it’s clarkcountyparadeofhomes.
Lee of GRO knows what the landscaping plan is for the homes in the parade.
“It’s exciting. Awesome. And we’re pumped,” she said.
Yes, there will be extravagant homes that not all can afford at the parade. But the homes, and their builders, can inspire those in lower income brackets.
“Having the Parade of Homes and having access to these homes and access to these innovations that are happening in our industry is a really great opportunity to see some of the most beautiful homes built in Clark County,” Hansen said.
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