1st waterfront buildings will be away from tracks

first_imgRecent announcements of hotel and restaurant deals by the leader of a $1.3 billion commercial and residential redevelopment of Vancouver’s waterfront underscore the progress that’s being made on the long-planned project. However, that momentum also raises a question: Is an oil-by-rail transfer terminal, proposed less than 2 miles west of the 32-acre waterfront site, far less of a threat to the waterfront project than its developer, Barry Cain, has described in his previous public statements?The question arises after Cain, speaking during a panel discussion Thursday, said he’s inked a deal to build a 10-story hotel at the site and that it would begin construction in 2015. At least one restaurant has been signed and is expected to begin construction in 2015. A separate mixed-use building with retail, housing and office spaces also is in the works.Previously, Cain, president of Tualatin, Ore.-based Gramor Development, has said the oil terminal would either kill or severely curtail what he’s described as a “world-class” waterfront project, including restaurants, up to 3,300 residential units, office space, retail space, a hotel and a public park. Cain has cited multiple safety and other concerns, including a spate of explosive oil-train derailments in the U.S. and Canada.In a statement issued to The Columbian on Friday, Cain said the waterfront’s initial development won’t be as close to rail tracks as other phases. He also said he doubts the oil terminal — proposed by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. to receive an average of 360,000 barrels of crude per day at the Port of Vancouver — will ever be built. He said it remains incompatible with the waterfront’s revitalization.last_img read more