Fourth Plain Community Commons
Opened September 2023
A mixed-use space designed to serve the community with flexible event spaces, commercial kitchen incubators, office spaces, and more.
About the Project
The Fourth Plain Community Commons is a mixed-use project located on Fourth Plain Boulevard (2200 Norris Rd). that includes affordable housing on the upper floors and a flexible community-serving space on the ground floor. The ground floor community spaces are envisioned as flexible areas where the Fourth Plain community can gather, hold events, and access services. The following elements are currently planned for the community space:
- A commercial kitchen incubator to launch and support emerging food-based businesses
- A shared office space to co-locate services to make it easier for residents and businesses to access resources
- A community event space that can be rented for festivals, birthdays, trainings, and other events
- A public plaza with infrastructure to support a Vancouver Farmer’s Market satellite market
This project is a collaboration between the Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) and the City of Vancouver. The Vancouver Housing Authority plans to own and operate the apartments located on the upper floors. The City of Vancouver will develop the ground floor space and partner with community-based organizations to operate it.
The City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Housing Authority have partnered with Salazar Architects to lead the design of the project. Over the first few months of 2020, the project team hosted a community-wide open house and a series of workshops and design meetings. COVID-19 restricted in-person public engagement for the rest of 2020, so the project team held online interviews and focus groups with various community-based organizations to gather input on the commercial kitchen incubator and shared office space. An online open house and survey were held fall 2020 to gather community-wide feedback on the community event space, outdoor plaza and activity lawn. The input provided was incorporated into the design of the spaces to ensure that the project reflects the community’s needs and aspirations, and advances community development goals outlined in the Fourth Plain Forward Action Plan.
The Fourth Plain Commons project would not be possible without our many funding partners. Without their vision and support, this catalytic project would not be able to be built to support the Fourth Plain community.
The City of Vancouver received funding from the following sources for the ground-floor commercial spaces:
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 108 Loan
- HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds
- Washington State Department of Commerce – Direct Appropriation Grants, 2019-2021 and 2021-2023 State Capital Budgets
- Community Foundation for Southwest Washington Grant
The Vancouver Housing Authority received funding from the following sources for the residential portion of the project:
- City of Vancouver Affordable Housing Fund
- Washington State Department of Commerce – Housing Trust Fund
- Washington State Department of Commerce – Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program
- Wells Fargo Affordable Housing Community Development Corporation – Tax Credit Investor
- Wells Fargo Bank – Construction and Permanent Financing
- Vancouver Housing Authority Sponsor Loan
Fourth Plain Forward Initiative
Fourth Plain Forward is a multi-year initiative to improve the portion of the Fourth Plain Corridor known as Vancouver’s International Business District, which is home to the City’s most diverse and lowest-income neighborhoods. The initiative is focused on strengthening and growing small businesses, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, improving the corridor’s safety, and increasing the supply of affordable and attainable housing. Working jointly with partner organizations, the City of Vancouver aims to foster a vibrant and prosperous Fourth Plain corridor for residents, workers, and visitors.
Since the completion of the Fourth Plain Forward Action Plan in 2015, the City of Vancouver has worked with the community and partner organizations to bring additional resources to the corridor, including funding to support transportation improvements, affordable housing, and programs that increase economic opportunity.
For housing portion of the development:
Development Director, Vancouver Housing Authority
For ground floor community space:
Senior Planner, City of Vancouver