An investment company plans to build a midrise mixed-use building in downtown Vancouver after purchasing a block of land in early October.
The investment group, called 1500 Block Land Investors LLC, bought the block for $3.2 million on Oct. 2, said Mike Walling, City Commercial Group broker. The block lies between West 15th and 16th streets, and Washington and Columbia streets.
Walling said the investment group plans to build a five- or six-story, mixed-use building, but the demolition of the current buildings won’t happen for another few years.
“It will help downtown grow like we want,” Walling said.
The sale makes it one of the most costly in the recent past at $72 per square foot, he said.
The block currently houses some automotive and motorcycle repair businesses, which are being forced to move.
One company on the block, MotoCycle, a motorcycle parts shop, will have to relocate within a year or two, said co-owner Jason Ormberk.
Ormberk said the company is looking to move to Portland. He said prices in downtown Vancouver are too expensive.
“I’d like to stay here a lot longer,” he said.
The sellers of the property are two brothers from the Hidden family, prominent in the history of Vancouver. Their great-grandfather, Lowell Hidden, founded Hidden Brick Co. in 1871, and the bricks were used in constructing the iconic Mother Joseph’s Providence Academy. The Hidden family owned the academy until 2015, when it sold to the Historic Trust.
Bill Hidden, a third brother, died in May, which was a contributing factor to the family selling the property, Walling said.
Walling said Monte Hidden, the eldest brother, was not interested in commenting on the sale.
Local developer Tim Lee is the leading partner in the development, Walling said.
Lee, owner of Lee-Way Development Co. in Vancouver, is also involved in a 109-unit apartment and condominium building northeast of Pearson Field . Construction on that property, between Grand Boulevard and East Fifth Street to the south and East Sixth Street to the north, is set to start in spring 2020.
Lee could not be reached for comment.