Big ideas could change Vancouver waterfront

Big ideas could change Vancouver waterfront »Play Video

VANCOUVER, Wash. - There are ambitious plans to transform a barren stretch of the Columbia River waterfront in Vancouver into a bustling area full of retail stores, restaurants, offices, parks and housing.

The project would line the waterfront just west of the Interstate 5 bridge and would link to downtown Vancouver with a tunnel under the train tracks. At full build-out, 5,000 people could live there and there would be 250,000 square feet for shops, restaurants and a hotel, plus 1 million square feet of office space.

But transforming the 32-acre former Boise Cascade mill site will not be easy, or cheap.  Developers would spend more than $1 billion to make it happen.

And the idea is not a done deal.  The permits, legalities and financing must all come through before construction can begin.  But developers are getting excited about the project and see it as a way to help the local economy grow.