(This article was originally published in The Columbian.)
Anyone who has been living in the Greater Vancouver, Washington area for the last several years has surely noticed the large spike in population growth compared to only several short years ago.
As a matter of fact, Clark County is attracting more than 1,500 new residents per month, according to the state Department of Licensing.
Between 2014 and 2016, Clark County gained an average 18,365 people per year. That is 382 more people every month than the months between the years of 2000 and 2013, or a 33% increase.
Projections of Increased Growth in Clark County
While there is nothing that is 100% predictive of exactly how many people will live here in the coming decades, the Office of Financial Management uses a variety of data (including building permits, school enrollment, voter registration, drivers’ license data, birth and death rate), to compile its population projections. These look at how many people could be living in each county through 2040.
If the projections are accurate, Clark County’s population could be just under 500,000 in 2020 and be over 643,000 by 2040.
The Up Side and Down Side of a Growing Community
While population growth is good for many businesses, it continues to put pressure on the local housing market. The median sale price for a Clark County house rose last year by 9.3 percent, increasing from $298,600 in January to $326,500 in December.
Quelling demand will mean increasing the supply, a boon for many local homebuilders and tenant dwelling developers.
Fortunately, local builders and developers are stepping up to the plate to provide homes, apartments and condos to support our burgeoning community.
Gramor Development has opened two restaurant buildings, an office tower and an apartment complex along the new Waterfront Vancouver, which is a multiyear 21-block redevelopment along the Columbia River.
The Port of Vancouver signed tenant No. 1 at its own waterfront site, Terminal 1. This 10-acre project includes a new hotel, apartments, restaurants and a public market.
In the Lower Grand neighborhood, a 300,000-square-foot plaza is in development and will host offices, new stores and restaurants. Vancouver developer Killian Pacific projects the site will support 3,000 new jobs.
Prestige Development and its President and CEO Elie Kassab have developed a multitude of residential and commercial projects over the last several years in Vancouver and Battle Ground.
Recently, Kassab developed Prestige Plaza apartments, which feature s 100 market-rate apartments, live-work space, and retail space.
Currently in development is “Our Heroes Place” off of E Mill Plain Blvd between D and E Street and will feature two five-story buildings connected by a pedestrian bridge and showcasing a digital clock tower visible from I-5 and downtown Vancouver.
The two buildings will feature a mix of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments and higher-end homes. The entire project pays tribute to business and community philanthropists and friends to many: First Citizen honorees Ed and Dollie Lynch.
Prestige Development and other local developers are indeed recognizing the housing needs for the multitude of new Vancouver residents who are coming here to live, work , learn, and play, and are creating these living options at a time that our community needs it most.