Waterfront opportunities

Lance Killian presents development ideas to port commissioners

Lance Killian envisions the former Hambleton Lumber Company property, in Washougal, to be a place to “play, work, connect, shop and live.”

A mixed-use development is among the potential components of a Parker’s Landing LLC project, on a portion of the former Hambleton property at 335 S. “A” St.

The LLC is represented by Killian, of Killian Pacific, a commercial real-estate development and investment company.

The port owns 27 acres, and Parker’s Landing LLC owns 13 acres on the waterfront.

During a presentation to Port of Camas-Washougal Commissioners Aug. 23, Killian said the development would feature timeless Pacific Northwest architecture.

He said high quality apartments would be easier to finance than condominiums.

“It’s absolutely critical that this be a 24-hour community,” Killian said.

There could also be townhomes, offices and “diverse retail offerings,” including local businesses and national brand names.

Lodging and event center opportunities mentioned in Killian’s presentation included a boutique hotel with a bar and a community gathering space for weddings and corporate meetings.

He sought the opinions of hotel operators about the waterfront location, and he said he received very positive feedback.

Development of the waterfront could create more than 500 jobs.

“There is some urgency to this,” Killian said. “The market is in pretty good shape.”

Port Commissioner Bill Ward said the waterfront could be a fantastic hub for hospitality.

During public comments, Larry Keister, of Washougal, said the Columbia River should be the anchor for any future development.

He expressed concern that the views of the river could be blocked.

“The river is the important part, not the buildings,” Keister said.

Martha Martin, of Washougal, said she attends conferences in Portland and Seattle, and she would like to have those meetings held on the local waterfront instead.

She said an arts and culture center could provide a performance space for symphonies, concerts, musicals and theater and dance groups.

Planning for economic success in all seasons

During the port commissioners’ Aug. 9 meeting, Seattle architect David Hansen presented a “highest and best use analysis” of the waterfront property.

The marketing report, prepared by Jerry Johnson, of Johnson Economics, said while the area can capitalize on the river and its views, it will need to attract retail tenants when conditions are less desirable in the winter.

“Destination type retailers will be critical, particularly in early phases,” the report stated. “These are users that can survive and thrive in the early development of the community.”

The market for office space on the waterfront is seen as limited, according to Johnson’s report.

“We would expect a multi-tenant speculative building to be limited in size, reflecting a limited market opportunity,” the report stated.

Rental apartments are seen as an immediate market opportunity on the site.

“While not necessary to support retail uses, they can provide a greater sense of community while also providing marginal support for retailers,” the report stated.

The possibility of townhomes is also mentioned in Johnson’s report.

Additional discussions are expected to occur during the next port commissioners meeting Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 5 p.m., in the port office meeting room, 24 S. “A” St., Washougal.