Anthem Park Development

Vancouver, Washington

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)


The Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) wanted to connect an apartment complex with the neighboring community by redeveloping a brownfield property next to the complex.


Since its construction, Columbia House Apartments was separated from Main Street by the empty site of the old Vancouver High School. Senior citizens living in the apartments had to navigate a 6 percent grade in front of the building and were confronted with abandoned school buildings.

In addition, in 2002 the majority of Clark County residents were overweight or obese. As a result, the city wanted to encourage residents to incorporate walking and other physical activity into their daily lives.


The VHA partnered with a private development firm to create a new project called Anthem Park to redevelop a 1.5 acre portion of neighboring property. This mixed-use, mixed income property would include 58 units of affordable housing, 22 owner-occupied townhomes, two retail spaces, and underground parking. The objectives of the project were to "remove barriers to pedestrian activity for the elderly and disabled residents of Columbia House" and to "create a comfortable transition between the west side of the block and the Main Street frontage to invite more pedestrian activity among residents." Anthem Park was designed to enhance the outdoor environment and encourage residents to get outside and be more active in their daily lives.


The Anthem Park development was able to use the existing topography by converting what was the old high school football stadium into an underground parking garage. The project is an excellent example of thoughtfully designing a new property to incorporate the pedestrian needs of existing elderly and disabled neighbors. Anthem Park was able to successfully remove barriers to pedestrian activity for the residents of Columbia House through a number of changes including:

  • Connecting a landscaped public plaza to Columbia House by a skybridge that enters the second floor of the building creating a flat approach
  • Constructing new sidewalks with curb ramps on both sides of the property
  • Retrofitting a wheelchair ramp to meet ADA standards
  • Designing the plaza to be fully accessible for residents who use wheelchairs and scooters

The costs of the project totaled $16,182,700, approximately $10 million of which was paid for by the VHA, with the remainder paid by the developer. Of the VHA's portion of the costs, construction costs were $7.3 million, and insurance, developer fees, funding fees, reserves, and administration were $2.1 million. The predevelopment costs were $600,000.


Vancouver Housing Authority
2500 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 694-2501

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions, Engineering, Health, Case Studies

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