VANCOUVER — On May 15, the Vancouver City Council authorized the city’s acquisition of a 12-acre parcel of land located in central Vancouver for a purchase price of $5 million. The sale was conducted through an online auction and is currently in the process of closing with an anticipated closing date of June 28.
The parcel, located at the intersection of Mill Plain Boulevard and Devine Road, is currently occupied by a 186,000 square foot building and is part of a larger 25-acre commercial area known as Tower Mall. Council members authorized the purchase of the 12-acre site “as a strategic acquisition for redevelopment purposes, with the intent to develop a vision and master plan for the full 25 acres,’’ according to a news release from the city of Vancouver.
“With the city’s commitment to a substantial acquisition in this area, it positions us to play a leadership role in redeveloping an aging area in decline into a vibrant urban village in a part of the city that has not enjoyed the positive impacts of development for decades,” said Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.
According to city officials, the purchase was funded with undesignated general fund balance resulting from a favorable close of the last biennial budget and the one-time funding does not rely on any of the city’s established reserves, operating capital, or compromise current or planned ongoing operational funding for any city program or department.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to transform the central part of Vancouver,” said Eric Holmes, Vancouver City Manager. “Long term, this acquisition is about revitalizing a part of our city that has been passed over by the years of positive development in the downtown and east side of Vancouver. In addition, the proximity to the Burnt Bridge Creek and Blandford Canyon greenway and trail systems signifies this site as a lynchpin in better connecting our city.”
The acquisition of land by the city for redevelopment has been done successfully before: The previously distressed area surrounding Esther Short park was purchased by the City in the mid-1990s and prepared for development through planning and investment in infrastructure. The city also had a long term vision for the redevelopment of the waterfront and over the last several years made the infrastructure investments necessary to encourage private sector investment in the waterfront development project.
Information provided by city of Vancouver.