Affordable housing an important
The city of Sandy, Ore., came calling in 2001 for Prestige to build a cinema, followed by Battle Ground in 2003 and Independence, Ore., in 2005. Regal and other national chains do not serve smaller markets so we found ourselves forced to be in movie theater ownership and operations.
Our present and former projects downtown include City Center 12 Cinemas, M.J. Murdock Executive Plaza, The Excel Building, Lewis & Clark Plaza, and Prestige Plaza . We are now in planning for Our Heroes Place, a two-building project bordered by 13th and E streets, and Mill Plain Boulevard and D Street.
Our goal is to continue to develop and deliver projects in downtown Vancouver. There is a huge need for market-rate and affordable housing, and we, along with other developers, hope to continue the downtown revitalization that Vancouver deserves.
This past year we brought Prestige Plaza, a 100-unit apartment building, to the downtown Vancouver market. The apartments leased up on target. While the city of Vancouver was excellent to work with, it is important to remember that the sales tax increases costs by 8.7 percent to all developers. Renters are not willing to pay anywhere close to what they pay in North Portland, creating a big challenge for developers.
While in the process of planning our new projects, we are facing increased construction costs, lack of trade labor and the still existing so-so faith in the downtown Vancouver market by many in the community. There is also a dire need for low-income housing financed by tax credits. Clark County never gets its share because most of the credits are given to King County and other counties that have more influence in Olympia.
2016 Economic Forecast
Find more information from the speakers at the annual event, along with videos of the keynote speakers and each of the breakout sessions at www.columbian.com/economicforecast. (Videos will be available Friday morning)
We forecast a continued need for market rate, affordable, and low-income housing. Housing will continue to grow downtown, and the “Gem on the River” will start taking shape very soon. The market will continue to evolve at an exciting pace, barring any extraordinary events.