Proposed projects foreshadow recovery

The lights in downtown Camas will soon be a little brighter when the marquee at the Liberty Theatre will once again burn bright.

The much awaited news that a lease has been signed with a new tenant to occupy the well-known building on Northeast Fourth Avenue finally came to fruition. It is a space that holds fond memories as a downtown destination spot for the many who were sad to see it close more than a year ago.

Last week, Rand Thornsley and his corporation, Rootstalk Capital Management, entered into an agreement that will re-open the theater in mid-March. Thornsley’s excitement and enthusiasm for the project was evident as he talked on Friday about his plans to offer Camas, Washougal and all of east Clark County something special. Affordable movies, as well as food, beer and wine will all be on the menu. The business will cater to all ages. It is a combination that doesn’t currently exist in the local area, and certainly has the potential to successfully fill a unique niche.

That piece of good business news was joined by another. The Vancouver Clinic revealed its plans to build and open a site in Washougal’s “The Crossing” development. Although specific time lines and designs have not been worked out, the project is expected to be complete in the next five years, and bring jobs and medical services with it.

Although vastly different, these two projects and several others now underway in east Clark County demonstrate a lot about where our communities are headed. Even in this tough economy, these business leaders with foresight are seeing the current and future potential that exists in Camas and Washougal. It is this kind of foresight that will help the local economy recover and create a stronger future.

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