Redevelopment Wrecks: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

In November 1999, the City filed suit to condemn the Monterey Hotel, an old three-story hotel in downtown Vancouver that housed mainly low-income people.  A developer from just over the state line in Portland owned most of the block around the hotel, and City officials wanted to clear out the remaining property so the developer could build a planned six-story residential, office and retail development and adjacent parking structure.  The hotel’s owners, R.K. and Geetaben Patel, challenged the condemnation, arguing that the City lacked a public use.[1]  However, the trial court ruled in favor of the City.  Just as the Washington Court of Appeals was about to hear the case, the Patels reached a settlement with the City and agreed to sell.  However, in the meantime, the planned development fell through.[2]  The lot on which the hotel used to stand is still vacant.[3]

[1] Foster Church and John Painter, Jr., “Vancouver Files Suit to Condemn Old Hotel,” The Oregonian (Portland, OR), Nov. 25, 1999, at B5.

[2] “Vancouver, Hotel Owners Agree on $750,000 Price,” The Oregonian (Portland, OR), Nov. 12, 2001, at C2.

[3] Jeff Mize, (Reporter, The Columbian), Telephone Interview with John K. Ross, Institute for Justice, June 8, 2006.