Waterfront revitalization concepts are discussed

Commercial/mixed use options are mentioned for former Hambleton Lumber Company site

A conceptual drawing has been created, highlighting options that could one day occupy the former Hambleton Lumber Company site.

The drawing, developed by staff with the consulting firm Maul Foster and Alongi, is intended to “just give a visual of the possibilities of the site,” according to Port of Camas-Washougal Executive Director David Ripp. The possibilities included commercial/mixed use options, ranging in size from 10,000 square feet to 140,000 square feet, as well as restaurants and retail stores of 50,000 to 75,000 square feet.

Killian Pacific holds an option to purchase the former mill property at 335 S. “A” St., Washougal. The Washougal City Council approved a development agreement March 19 for the property owned by Hambleton Brothers Lumber Co., Inc. The agreement vests the development site to current uses, regulations and standards for the purposes of planning and permitting a future development project.

The city council also approved a development agreement for land located south of state Route 14, at Sixth Street. The port owns that property and holds an option to purchase additional land near Sixth Street.

During a recent port waterfront revitalization planning meeting, Jim Darling, a principal planner with Maul Foster and Alongi, talked about creating a "walkable" area with a town feeling without “big box” stores.

The conceptual drawing showed the possibility of residential uses — in the form of 31 townhouse units — in the Sixth Street area.

“There could be trails throughout the site,” Darling said, as well as a potential kayak area.

Martha Martin, of Washougal, suggested that bike racks be included in future plans.

Richard Hamby, also of Washougal, described the waterfront land as “a precious area to use wisely.”

Rosalee MacRae, of Camas, said she visited the Alki Beach area near Seattle last summer.

“It was 10 p.m., on a weeknight, and it was packed near Ivar’s Acres of Clams,” she said. “People were milling around. They just seemed happy. People want to be outside and mingle with others.”

MacRae spoke in favor of having a Trader Joe’s grocery store, a recreation equipment store and a bicycle rental facility locate near the waterfront.

“Anchor tenants are critical to a successful development,” Darling said.

During the March 20 Port Commission meeting, commissioner Bill Ward described the waterfront land as “prime property” adjacent to the port.

“It will be fairly out of our hands, how that gets developed,” he said. “Maul Foster and Alongi will pass information to developers and the city of Washougal. This is what the public expects.”

Ripp said development on the former Hambleton waterfront land would be market driven.

“If there are enough businesses looking for commercial property, then a developer or the port is willing to take the risk, develop the property and construct buildings to lease,” he said.

For more information about the waterfront revitalization planning process, contact the port office at 835-2196 or visit www.portcw.com/index.php/projects/waterfront_revitalization.