In: Uncategorized

Author: Adam Littman, Published: June 11, 2019
The Columbian

WASHOUGAL — Graham Fine scaled the beast’s back and crouched on its head.

“I’m king of the yeti,” he said, surveying the crowd below him.

Fine, 5, attends Little Lamb Preschool in Washougal, and his school doesn’t have a playground. If it did, he’d want it to have something similar to the new natural play area at the Washougal Waterfront Park, 56 S. First St.

The play area officially opened on Friday, and on a sunny Monday afternoon, it was already popular with local families looking to get outside before this week’s anticipated heat wave.

The highlight of the new park for many is the roughly 9-foot tall Sasquatch kneeling down in the center of the area. The Port of Camas-Washougal sought names from the public for the statue and turned over a few favorites to port commissioners, who decided on Eegah. The port worked with Portland-based landscape architecture firm GreenWorks on the park and Sasquatch statue.

The most daring of park visitors can get to the top of Eegah by walking up a hill onto a rock and using a climbing rope to reach his shoulders.

“Kids always seem to find a way to jump on logs or climb something,” said Alicia Fine, Graham’s mother. “It’s fun to have a place they can do that.”

There are a few Sasquatch symbols along the Washougal Waterfront Park walking path pointing the direction of the natural play area, which overlooks the Columbia River. Climbing Eegah isn’t all the park has to offer. There are climbing logs throughout, an area where a slide will be installed once it’s delivered and a few outdoor musical instruments to play. There is a xylophone and a few percussion instruments made to look like part of the natural landscape.

“My favorite part was the instruments,” Annie Dodge, 6, of Washougal, said. She said it reminded her of the Columbia Tech Center Park in Vancouver, her favorite in the area.

She was there with her three siblings and their mother, Allison Dodge.

“It’s awesome to have a natural-based playground in town,” she said. “We go to parks all over the place. Around here, we like the (Hartwood Park) Red Barn Playground and taking them to Steigerwald (Lake Wildlife Refuge).”

The rock to climb up Eegah is also built into local history. It was unearthed during the state Highway 14 project and put aside at the waterfront. Eventually, port officials learned it made its way to Washougal during the ancient Missoula Floods. There is a board with information about the floods, along with another informational board on different animal tracks to look for.

Kim Noah, director of operations for the port, said some geologists from a nearby college studied the rock and determined it was an “erratic” and not something typically found in the area, although they weren’t sure where exactly it came from. That’s where port officials came up with the rock’s name, Erric the Erratic.

The natural play area was pushed back about a year due to rising construction costs, Noah said. It was originally scheduled to open summer 2018. With the extra year, the port was able to get a lower bid for construction and receive $103,000 in the 2019-2021 state capital budget. The total project cost a little more than $300,000, Noah said.

“It’s gratifying to do projects for the community like this,” Noah said. “To see everyone happy with it is nice.”

www.columbian.com

The Port is very excited to announce the Grand Opening of the Natural Play Area in the Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail. June 7, 2019 Eegah, our local 9 foot tall Sasquatch, will be debuting in the play area as a vibrant piece of artwork that children can play on and interact with. The play area will be ADA accessible and will boast a 6 foot hill slide, log scramble, xylophone area and much more. We are so excited to have Sasquatch join our family, plus Erric the Erratic is thrilled to have a new friend.

Washougal Wash. – April 16, 2019 – The Port of Camas-Washougal announces its chosen lead Waterfront Developer – RKm Development out of Portland, OR.

RKm Development is a long-time owner, developer and operator of numerous local mixed-use development projects in the Portland Metropolitan region. Their vision for the Waterfront at Parker’s Landing includes a harmonizing, multi-use area for dining, shopping, errands, family fun, and inter-generational entertainment, all next-door to beautifully designed residences with amazing waterfront views of the river and scenic gorge.

As agents for positive community growth, their depth and breadth of masterplan development experience will lend itself to creating a multi-faceted public epicenter, with design and programmatic elements that will not only boost the local economic engine, but also amplify the unique amenities of the site to attract visitors, customers and users from around the region. Their goal: to develop a vibrant mixed-use center and regional destination that amplifies and enhances the Camas and Washougal communities.

“Roy Kim and his team have developed a variety of dense, livable, mixed-use suburban districts,” reported David Ripp, Port CEO. “While the demographics for his signature projects are different, the approach is the same: Create a centralized community with diversity in mind.”

Next steps include negotiating an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA), which is an agreement between the Port and the developer specifying a period of time in which the parties will negotiate exclusively on a development project. The ENA binds both parties from making any similar deals with other parties for a specified period. It shows the Developer has represented its willingness and ability to undertake certain studies, plans and other activities necessary to define the scope of a development and determine the feasibility of such development on a particular site. The Agreement shall serve as the basis for entering into a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA).

For more information and to follow the Waterfront Development progress, go to Port’s website at Portcw.com.

Author: Kiya Gramps, PG Published: March 6, 2019
The Camasonian

With 26.5 acres of grassland and trails along the Columbia River in Washougal, three Portland-based companies have developed a model of a waterfront; this would add more character to the town. The well detailed models have been recently submitted to the port of Camas-Washougal. The future Washougal waterfront will be a family-friendly destination, that may consist of various stores, water-sport stores, and maybe even a public pool or community center.

Alan Perez, a ninth grader at Camas explains “I heard that they might be able to put a waterfront hotel, and different kinds of shops by the river.” With this new addition in the Washougal and Camas area: the waterfront can bring a wider amount of tourist, and more activities for adults and even children. In Downtown Vancouver, there’s an outstanding waterfront that took about two decades to bring to life, but aside from the time, it has amazing restaurants, a variety of shops, and it brings more attention to the town. Amiyah Trobradovic, a ninth grader says: “When they finally opened the waterfront in Vancouver, It seemed like it made the area so much more put together, it brought the town more personality and the view is really cool, I’m hoping that the waterfront in Washougal will be similar.”

At the moment in Washougal, there is a waterfront, but it is not the ideal destination, and many people in the area believe it’s time for an upgrade. So far at the Washougal waterfront, it consist of a 12 foot cement walking trail that stretches just about a mile long, a kayak or canoe launch, water access trails, plus mini viewpoints. “In the summer my family walks the river trails a lot, we even go kayaking with friends and family, but even though it’s an amazing place, an upgrade on the waterfront would be awesome,” informs Susanna Soto, a student at Camas High School.  In the summer, many people both Camas and Washougal, even people from different cities visit the Columbia River (also known as Cottonwood Beach, on this side of the river).

People come to Cottonwood for birthday parties, to swim, boat, and just about anything that people do in the summer; imagine if shops and restaurants were added to the land, that would bring a lot more population. “I think that this area needs more restaurants and pit stops, especially if people get tired of swimming in the river.” Even though the waterfront would be a great addition to the area, waterfronts are a challenge financially; it needs an important residential element to make it feasible, which also means that it will take time to prepare. A new waterfront would be ideal for the Camas and Washougal area, and many people are excited about it.

The Steering Committee shall be responsible for making recommendations to the Port of Camas-Washougal for the physical design, planning, and construction of a Performing Arts & Cultural Center located on the Port’s Waterfront.  The Steering Committee shall develop an operational and strategic plan for the Performing Arts & Cultural Center.

The Port continues to move forward with the waterfront development, and we have heard a request from some community members on possibly siting a performing arts and cultural center at this site.  Because a performing arts and cultural center has been a topic of interest and in conjunction with local community members, we are now accepting applications for a citizen-based Steering Committee. Beginning in April, applicants will be interviewed and selected. The committee will work closely with the Port’s Commission to guide in the planning process.

The application is available here or at the Port Office at 24 South A Street, Washougal, WA  98607.  The deadline to apply is Monday, April 1st at 5 p.m. and may be dropped off or emailed to Yvette@portcw.com.

ALL APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED REGARDLESS OF LOCATION 

About the Port

The Port of Camas-Washougal makes strategic investments in parks and infrastructure to grow the local economy while preserving the quaint, small-town feel residents and visitors have come to love. 19 miles of trails connect Camas and Washougal to local waterways such as LaCamas Lake, Columbia River, and Washougal River. Expansive views, self-guided cultural tours, local shops, eateries, and an abundance of recreational amenities make the communities of Camas and Washougal an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. For more information, visit portcw.com. It’s our nature to explore.

February 22, 2019

Eegah Coloring Contest

Washougal Wash. – February 22, 2019 – The Port of Camas-Washougal is holding a coloring contest to help introduce Eegah to the community. Construction of the waterfront natural play area will begin in March and wrap up early summer. As a result, Ranger Dave and his friends at the Port are asking the community to help search for Eegah the Sasquatch so we can share the good news.

The coloring contest sheets are currently available on our website or they can be picked up at the Port office located at 24 South A Street, Washougal, WA 98671. The Port of Camas-Washougal will also have coloring sheets and free binoculars available at Downtown Camas’ First Friday event on March 1, 2019.

Coloring entries must be submitted to the Port office by 5 pm on March 8, 2019. Winners will be chosen the following week and announced via Facebook on March 12, 2019. The prize is a full-color book by Derek Sullivan and Kyle Sullivan called Get Dressed, Sasquatch!

The Port of Camas-Washougal invites the community to visit their booth during the First Friday event at Journey Church to learn more about this exciting project.

For more information and to follow Eegah’s progress to the waterfront natural play area, visit portcw.com.

Download the coloring sheet

About the Port

The Port of Camas-Washougal makes strategic investments in parks and infrastructure to grow the local economy while preserving the quaint, small-town feel residents and visitors have come to love. 19 miles of trails connect Camas and Washougal to local waterways such as LaCamas Lake, Columbia River, and Washougal River. Expansive views, self-guided cultural tours, local shops, eateries, and an abundance of recreational amenities make the communities of Camas and Washougal an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. For more information, visit portcw.com. It’s our nature to explore.

Author: Jacob Granneman, Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Clark County Today

Washougal waterfront development moving forward with four developers being interviewed

WASHOUGAL — The Port of Camas-Washougal is moving into the early stages of further developing the Washougal waterfront area surrounding the marina and Waterfront Park.

Over 13 acres of land in the area known as Parker’s Landing, now owned by the port, has four developers interested in a partnership. All of which are being interviewed over the next two weeks.

An aerial view of the most recently developed Waterfront Park, just east of the marina. The surrounding area is what will become the Port of Camas-Washougal’s new development starting this year. Photo by Jacob Granneman
An aerial view of the most recently developed Waterfront Park, just east of the marina. The surrounding area is what will become the Port of Camas-Washougal’s new development starting this year. Photo by Jacob Granneman

“Part of this interview process is going to be kind of feeling each other out,” said Mark Miller, director of Planning and Development for the port. “Do they share our vision? Do they understand what we’re about as the port?”

Developers bidding on the project include RKm Development, Project ^, Williams/Dame & Associates, Inc., and Terra Pacific Development, LLC.

The port plans to break ground this year and begin the process, with final construction completion estimated at 10 years or more.

“We want to help establish a larger identity for east Clark County,” Miller said. “It’s about a relationship, we’re all in it together, we’re all on the same team.”

The Port of Camas-Washougal’s marina, seen here, will receive some updates to its ramps and breakwater dock when development of the surrounding area begins in earnest. Photo by Jacob Granneman
The Port of Camas-Washougal’s marina, seen here, will receive some updates to its ramps and breakwater dock when development of the surrounding area begins in earnest. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Miller explained that the development of the waterfront has been largely fueled by knowledge gained through community outreach and involvement, and strong relationships with the cities of Camas and Washougal.

The goal of the development will be to bring in more commerce and amenities for both communities, and not take away from either city’s downtown area, Miller said.

In 2014, the site was cleaned and restored after being owned by Hambleton Lumber Co. since 1953. The clean-up was paid for through a grant of more than $500,000 grant through the Department of Ecology.

Land purchase cost over several years and development of the existing waterfront park and trail starting in 2013, cost the port $17 million, with $5.3 million provided through revenues, grants and donations, said Kim Noah, director of operations for the port.

The view of Mt. Hood across the Columbia River, as seen from Washougal’s Waterfront Park. The Port’s future development is expected to include residential structures, with views like this for many of them. Photo by Jacob Granneman
The view of Mt. Hood across the Columbia River, as seen from Washougal’s Waterfront Park. The Port’s future development is expected to include residential structures, with views like this for many of them. Photo by Jacob Granneman

At present, the port’s reserve is currently at just over $2 million, and thus it is seeking an in depth private-public partnership with the developer they choose. Killian Pacific, who will build residential structures on their land, agreed to have the port clear their land, which cost $200,000.

“Phase one was doing the waterfront clean-up. Phase two, was then doing the community access to the waterfront, by creating the waterfront park and trail,” Noah said. “It’s not something that happens overnight. You’re going to have to have that commitment from the developer, but then The Port also has to be a committed partner.”

The development itself aims to address a number of areas.

The first items will be further clearing of land and the construction of a natural play area. A statue of sasquatch, named Eegah, will be the centerpiece of the playground, and add a the next artistic feature, with support from the Washougal Arts and Cultural Alliance.

Construction of the play area was delayed, due to higher than expected costs, but is slated to break ground in March of this year.

Washougal Waterfront Trail will soon connect Camas and the Washougal waterfront area, by way of the Lacamas Heritage Trail system. In runs past all of the future development land. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Washougal Waterfront Trail will soon connect Camas and the Washougal waterfront area, by way of the Lacamas Heritage Trail system. In runs past all of the future development land. Photo by Jacob Granneman

The next area of development will consist of 17 or more proposed buildings, not including Killian Pacific’s residential construction. These structures will take the longest amount of time during the project and be filled with community spaces and leased to businesses.

A computer rendering of what the Parker’s Landing waterfront development could look like when The Port finishes construction. Courtesy of The Port of Camas-Washougal
A computer rendering of what the Parker’s Landing waterfront development could look like when The Port finishes construction. Courtesy of The Port of Camas-Washougal

The main trail constructed with Waterfront Park will also be expanded. Connecting north to the Lacamas Heritage Trail system and east towards Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge, the new trail will be the “missing link;” completing the Columbia River Trail.

Altogether, the trail addition will connect walkways in Vancouver, Camas and Washougal through continuity between Washougal Waterfront Park, Steamboat Landing Park and Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail.

Improvements to The Port managed marina are also included in the development plan, Miller said. Making the access ramp ADA compliant, updating the breakwater dock and redoing the boat ramp decks, are all proposed improvements.

“People want something special,” Miller said. “This is a special place. You don’t get to develop on waterfronts in today’s world, very much. When you have an opportunity like this, you want to make sure you maximize it.”

https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/a-larger-identity-for-east-clark-county/

Washougal Wash. – December 11, 2018 – The Port of Camas-Washougal is pleased to announce it has chosen a Port Owner’s Representative to assist in selecting a Waterfront Developer – The Leland Consulting Group based out of Portland, OR.

The Leland Consulting Group is a team of strategic advisors focused on urban real estate, economic development, and public-private partnerships. Their expertise in balancing rigorous analysis with candid advice for strategies that will enhance our community and create lasting value make them an ideal choice.

Next steps include determining the scope of work, cost proposal and submitting the contract to the Commission for approval at the January 7, 2019 Commission Meeting. On December 14, the Port will send out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to all of the interested developers with a deadline of January 31, where the Port will continue the conversation with prospective developers.

“We are very excited to be moving forward with the Leland Consulting Group,” reported David Ripp, Port CEO. “Their involvement in the Port of Vancouver’s Waterfront Revitalization and like-minded vision for keeping the waterfront a thriving and vibrant destination will make for a great partnership.”

Upcoming Waterfront projects already in process include the finished grading and clearing of the 26.5 acres of prime real estate to make way for the development to continue. The Waterfront Park Natural Play Area, which is due to begin construction in February 2019 by lowest bidder, Keystone Contracting; and the construction of the connecting trail between the Port’s Waterfront property and the City of Washougal Downtown in the summer of 2019.

For more information and to follow the Waterfront Development progress, go
to Port’s website at Portcw.com.

By Adam Littman, Columbian Staff Writer

Published: September 16, 2018, 6:00 AM

thumbnail of 09-16-port-of-cw-site-plan

Port of Camas-Washougal officials took the next step toward waterfront development this month when they sent out a request for proposal for plans to build out the 26.5 acres it owns east of Waterfront Park.

The request was distributed locally, as well as in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver, according to David Ripp, executive director of the port.

“I feel very confident in doing industrial development,” Ripp said. “I’ve been doing it 24 years. I have not done a commercial or waterfront development.”

Port officials are looking for mixed-use development on the waterfront, with early visioning for the site calling for residential and commercial development, with plenty of open spaces and landscaping. Some design plans for the space have shown the possibility of a plaza with nearby retail space and a hotel, as well as an office park.

Ripp said the port will have some flexibility when it comes to working with a developer; the port would be open to a developer purchasing property, a long-term ground lease or a public-private partnerships.

Along with the 26.5 acres of port property, Killian Pacific owns about 8.5 acres to the east of the waterfront property, where the Vancouver-based commercial real estate developer will develop a residential complex. The overall project will consist of 150 to 250 units, potentially developed in phases, according to the request. The port finished building the Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail in 2016, connecting the port property to downtowns in both Washougal and Camas.

According to the request for proposal, the former Hambleton Bros. Lumber Co. site was appraised at $13,734,000 in May 2017. Roughly $16.3 million has been invested in the waterfront so far, according to the proposal. The property cost $12 million, building the waterfront park and trail cost $3.3 million, a Department of Ecology cleanup of the site cost $785,000, and conceptual design, master planning and infrastructure design for the site cost $215,000.

Ripp said there isn’t a timeline for the development. Responses are due by Oct. 19, and port officials will review the submissions from Oct. 22 to 31. The port will interview developers Nov. 5 through Nov. 16 and choose someone shortly after, Ripp said.

Construction could start in 2020, with completion of the first phase in 2021, Ripp said.

“It’s going to take 18 months to get something designed, permitted,” Ripp said, “and we don’t even know what we’re going to do yet.”

Ripp said he wouldn’t be shocked if things moved faster than expected. He said port officials gave themselves five to seven years to complete each phase of the port’s industrial development, and each phase has been done in about three years. He said the project could be completed in as few as 10 years.

Regional outlook

Paul Dennis, CEO of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, said the waterfront property should help improve the economy of east Clark County, working in partnership with Camas’ destination downtown and Washougal’s burgeoning business scene.

“This property developing is bridging what’s happening in Camas with what’s percolating in downtown Washougal,” Dennis said. “It can help strengthen the local economies. It can become its own specialty district, like what you’re seeing in Portland with places like Sellwood, Northwest 23rd and Mississippi.”

Dennis said each area having its own unique characteristic can draw people in, while their connectivity can help bring people from one spot of east county to another.

“Those people will find other areas to explore in Camas and Washougal,” he said. “It’s the entry to the Gorge. They’ll find all those natural amenities to explore, too.”

Dennis praised port officials for getting the property ready for development, and for working to ensure whatever is developed at the site will fit in with the surrounding areas. With the new park, already-popular marina, and soon-to-open revitalized Black Pearl, Dennis said people are visiting the waterfront in east county more. The port’s waterfront property will help drive even more people to the area, he said.

“This becomes a nice add for the activity that has been occurring within the area,” Dennis said. “The timing is about right (to develop).”