The Story of Vancouver's Waterfront Redevelopment

Session 1A | Wednesday | 9:45 – 11:00 AM PT

Presentation PDF
About the Session

For nearly a century, Vancouver's Waterfront was cut off from the downtown by a railroad berm. Now, the Waterfront is in the process of being transformed from the former paper mill and brownfield site into a stunning 40-acre urban mixed-use development, anchored by a 7.2-acre public park, trail, and pier feature that projects over the Columbia River. This is the story of how, despite many challenges, the City, Port, Developer, and Railroad found ways to work together, leverage each other's strengths, and stay committed to their collective vision of reconnecting the downtown to its waterfront and opening it to an exciting mix of housing, offices, and restaurants. For the first time, panelists from the City, Port, and Developer will share the story of how an audacious vision was turned into reality.

About the Moderator

Chad Eiken, AICP
City of Vancouver

Chad Eiken, AICP, is currently the Community Development Director for the City of Vancouver. He has been a professional planner for over 32 years in Washington and New York. Chad oversees the following programs: Comprehensive Planning, Transportation Planning, Land Use Review, Permit Center, Code Compliance, Building Review, and Building Inspection. Up until the fall of last year, Chad's portfolio included Economic Development, Housing/CDBG, and Downtown Parking Programs. For the past nearly 30 years, he has been involved in all aspects of development review and long-range planning and has had a role in shaping land use policies and large, complex and transformative development projects. Chad has a B.A. in Geography from Wittenberg University and an M.A. in Geography from Miami University in Ohio.

About the Speakers

Matt Grady, AICP
Gramor Development

Matt Grady went to college at the University of Vermont, in Burlington Vermont graduating with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies (1985). He traveled far west to Hawaii, where he earned a Masters's in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1990. During his 13-year stay in Hawaii, Matt practiced planning and project management on all the Hawaiian Islands for the largest landowners in the state. Matt moved to Portland Oregon in 1995 where he worked for the City of Beaverton as an Associate Planner for 2 years working in long-range planning, current development services, and community block grant projects. In 1997, Matt returned to the private sector where he joined Gramor Development, in Tualatin, Oregon. He has been serving as a VP Director of Development for over 24 years, working on a variety of retail and mixed-use commercial projects in Oregon and Washington. He is a member of the American Planning Association and a Certified Planner. He is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Matt was the senior project manager for the Vancouver Waterfront Project and will be able to share the developer's side of the story, from first concepts to a cohesive vision, to construction and implementation.

Julie Hannon
City of Vancouver

Julie Hannon has worked for the City of Vancouver for nine years. As Director of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services. In addition to moving the Department through the recovery stage of the recession, Hannon has led efforts to change park playground installations in Vancouver and completed the Waterfront Park in Vancouver in 2018. Julie oversees a staff of 44, a $13 million budget, and is a hands-on director with experience in grant cultivation and management, managing complex contracts, recreation management, customer service facilities planning, and park development. With over 35 years of experience, Julie previously served as Director and Deputy Director for the City of Modesto, CA (population 210,000) for 13 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Parks and Recreation from Western Illinois University and a Masters's degree in Public Administration from Ashford University. The Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department operates 2,138 acres of parkland, 108 parks, 23.4 miles of trail, and three community centers. Two recreation centers receive approximately 900,000 combined visits annually and provide recreation programs, classes, and services for people of all ages and abilities.

Mike Bomar
Port of Vancouver

Mike is Director of the Port of Vancouver's Economic Development Department and will be able to share insights from the Port's efforts to reimagine and redevelop nearly 10 acres of the Waterfront project for better public access and economic growth. Prior to joining the Port of Vancouver, Mike was Executive Director for the Columbia River Economic Development Association (CREDC) based in Vancouver, WA.

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