PHOTO CAPTION: Nathan Gaither, pictured here, is project manager and junior partner in IDM Apartments, the firm currently constructing Acero Ridgefield Apartments near the roundabout at 45th & Pioneer streets. The project, shown in the background, will include 300 apartments. The facility is expected to house around 600 residents at full occupancy.
45TH & PIONEER TAKING SHAPE AS ENVISIONED
When citizens and businesses participated in a citywide planning exercise to envision Ridgefield’s future several years ago, the collective goal for the 45th and Pioneer Crossing area was clear: a grocery-anchored retail center near the roundabout. Demand for a full-service grocery store was high, and it was believed this amenity would spark the development of commercial activity, bringing necessary services to the then-not-developed quadrants of the 45th and Pioneer intersection.
Fast forward to 2019, and that vision is being realized. To meet community demand, the Port of Ridgefield agreed to sell property at Discovery Ridge to local developer Dean Maldonado as the site for regional grocer Rosauers’ first Southwest Washington location; Ridgefield citizens will be shopping at the store by late fall this year.
Maldonado is building additional commercial sites at the Discovery Ridge site; leasing for those is taking shape. One named tenant is Taco Bell, and others are likely to be a financial institution and six other businesses in the development’s Phase 1. Subsequent phases will bring more opportunities for business development, further expanding Ridgefield’s jobs base.
Cropping up around Maldonado’s project are other developments that will serve to meet demand in both the residential and commercial arenas.
The Port of Ridgefield had the opportunity to meet with the parties involved in two key projects taking shape at the 45th and Pioneer Street intersection.
PIONEER VILLAGE: ‘COUNTRY FARM FEEL’
Ron Edwards, of Edwards Construction in Ridgefield and developer of Felida Village, is a principal in the Pioneer Village project with business partner Tom Files of Vancouver. The project, described by Edwards as a project with a “Ridgefield vibe and country farm feel,” was scheduled to break ground by the end of June on the southwest corner of 45th and Pioneer, just across from the Rosauers development.
The 10-acre, mixed-use project comprised of 16 buildings will include restaurants, commercial space for businesses and professional offices, studio apartments and several top-floor condos. Restaurant spaces will have covered walkways and outside seating space overlooking a new 10-acre park, under development by IDM Companies. (Acero Ridgefield Apartments sees demand, low risk).
Edwards says he’s been looking at Ridgefield for a long time, appreciative that the City of Ridgefield has a plan to manage growth and has infrastructure to handle it.
“We also looked at an imaginary circle that is 20 miles from downtown Portland,” he says. With all the other quadrants built out, the remaining quadrant is Clark County, and Ridgefield is at the heart of growth and development. We knew we needed to be there.”
While Edwards and his team knew when they purchased the property for Pioneer Village that a grocery store was looking at coming in, he says they would have invested anyway.
“The addition of a grocery store just made it better; we knew we’d be part of a bigger picture.”
Edwards believes the other developments springing up around Pioneer Village will add value to their project.
“The residential density in this area will help draw more businesses to our project, which translates to more value for our investors.” (And as noted in Port CEO Brent Grening’s column on page 4, will help lower the tax burden for citizens who live here.)
What Inspired Pioneer Village?
Edwards says Pioneer Village is well-designed and will have an open feel, with parking, amenities and services close by. The inspiration for Pioneer Village came from Edwards’ own travels.
“I’d been to Europe and have seen how even small villages between larger cities had town squares and one or more butcher shops, cheese shops and other services,” he says. “People could get what they needed without driving to another city.”
Asked if there was any concern this project will take away from downtown Ridgefield, Edwards is adamant that won’t be the case. “There will be three unique commercial districts in Ridgefield, all feeding each other. We believe our project will help bring people downtown.”
ACERO RIDGEFIELD APARTMENTS SEES DEMAND, LOW RISK
Apartments are few and far between in Ridgefield, and most are older. Acero Ridgefield Apartments developer IDM Companies, located in Vancouver, is about to change all that; it’s presently constructing 300 apartments in 27 buildings just west of the Pioneer Village project. The east side of the development, like Pioneer Village’s west edge, will have direct access to a new 10-acre park situated between the two developments. IDM purchased the park acreage and will develop the park before transitioning it to the City of Ridgefield. IDM’s Chief Operating Officer, Jason Larson, estimates about 600 residents will call Ridgefield Apartments “home” in the coming year.
Larson says that for 25 years IDM has focused on building high-quality communities with plans to own them for generations, and the Ridgefield Apartments development is no exception.
“We build properties that are fairly priced, well-constructed, and have great amenities,” Larson says. “Our communities generally serve a very wide demographic, from first time renters to downsizers and retirees.”
Nathan Gaither, project manager and junior partner in IDM Apartments, says the demand for this type of housing in Ridgefield makes the relatively large scale of this development a good investment. We operate in the Portland-Metro area including Clark County, and this is our 18th project,” says Gaither. “With the Ilani resort bringing jobs, and the pace of growth in Ridgefield, we’ve had our eye on building here. We think our apartments will fill quickly.”
Although Gaither and his team knew the City of Ridgefield was pursuing a grocery store in 2016 when they purchased the property for development, he says IDM would have moved ahead on the project anyway. “We aren’t risk takers,” says Gaither. “We like to follow and support existing trends, not to be at the front end of a new trend.”
2 PROJECTS RAMP UP NEAR DISCOVERY RIDGE PIONEER VILLAGE
- 10-acres, mixed-use, 16 buildings • Groundbreaking July 8 2019; completion estimated late 2020
- Across 45th from Rosauers
- Adjacent to new, 10-acre park and city/port/Wildlife Refuge Trail
- Commercial, professional office, restaurants
- 30 studio apartments
- Top-floor condos
- Tenants – Trap Door Brewing – Regional medical clinic – Branch bank – Happy Kids Dentistry – Mexican restaurant – Coffee shop/bakery – Physical therapist – Hair and nail salon – Women’s boutique clothing store
- A farmers’ market is under consideration
Leasing contact: Scott Higgins, Fuller Group, 360.597.0577
ACERO RIDGEFIELD APARTMENTS
- 300 apartments; 27 buildings
- 1 BR/1BA; 2 BR/1BA; 2BR/2BA
- 720 sq. ft. – 1,100 sq. ft.
- Rents $1,285 to $1,620 (excluding opening specials)
- Available starting mid-August 2019 through May 2020
- 600 residents estimated AMENITIES
- 9-ft. ceilings all units
- Fireplaces all units
- Walk-in closets
- Swimming pool/Hot tub
- Fitness Center
- Community Room
- Adjacent to new, 10-acre park and city/port/Wildlife Refuge Trail
- Plentiful private green space
- Gated for family security
- Walking distance to Pioneer Village & Rosauers
Leasing contact: Sherry Coffield, Community Manager. 360.200.1861