The Heights District Plan

  • Urban Design

Vancouver, WA

205 acres

1,340 units

153 keys

WASLA Professional Awards, Merit Award for Analysis and Planning, 2022

While Vancouver, Washington has experienced tremendous overall growth over the last decade, some of its areas have not experienced the same level of investment. The Heights District is recognized by locals as an area with quiet character where exceptionally friendly people have lived for many generations. The site of the former Tower Mall, which had long lain dormant, is the centerpiece of development opportunities in the expanded and improved Heights District.

Through rigorous stakeholder engagement, the future Heights District is envisioned as a vibrant, connected neighborhood center that will reflect the community values of health, wellness, and a shared identity. The plan encompasses 63 acres in the Tower Mall area within the 205-acre Heights District, with a mix of residential, commercial, office—connected to downtown Vancouver by public transit.

The master plan was based on key placemaking strategies to define urban form, a mix of uses, and streetscape typologies that represent the character and feel of the district. This neighborhood is unique in its application of “20-minute neighborhood” principles—allowing residents to access a broad mix of services and amenities within a 20-minute walk. Other transportation strategies include complete streets coordinated with bicycle improvements, bus rapid transit (BRT) stations, and pedestrian-centric primary streets.

When completed, the Tower Mall conversion will revitalize a former concrete field of nothingness into an active and friendly addition to the Heights District.