Vancouver developer raises its local profile with $50M project at Hansen Park

A Vancouver developer with a history of building apartments in the Tri-Cities is raising its profile with an ambitious project in the Columbia Center Boulevard corridor.

Carmen Villarma and her husband, Dennis Pavlina, have begun work on The Resort at Hansen Park, a $50 million mixed-use development that will offer three different types of rental homes plus 21,000 square feet of office space on a nine-acre parcel at the corner of West 10th Avenue and Columbia Center in Kennewick.

Pavlina is the general contractor.

The couple, who have been active in the Tri-Cities for years, secured the nine-acre site in December, according to county property records, though they have been working on the development plan for longer than that.

They’ve built and managed apartments, including the complex north of the Hansen Park project, and have a new office building in construction off Clearwater Avenue.

They’re wrapping up a two-story office at 30 S. Louisiana St., off West Clearwater Avenue, to house Tri-City branch offices for Villarma’s two property management businesses, The Management Group and Association Management Services. The building will debut in July.

The Resort at Hansen Park is their largest project and is one of the largest private mixed-used developments in the Tri-Cities at the start of the 2021 construction season.

The first phase began earlier this year with site work. That included leveling the property, installing utilities and fire hydrants and roads.

When the “horizontal” construction work wraps up, they’ll begin with vertical.

The first buildings will begin this summer along the northern border with Hansen Park, the city-owned park that fronts Columbia Center Boulevard.

Villarma and Pavlina bought the right to develop a second phase on a neighboring property.

The second phase will add more residential units, a clubhouse and retail space along Columbia Center Boulevard, between West 10th Avenue and the existing Hansen Park. The site plan is under review by the city.

In the current first phase, Villarma and Pavlina plan to build 225 units of rental housing in three distinct sections all clustered around a communal clubhouse and office buildings.

A series of triplexes will line the outer edge, a traditional garden-style complex will occupy the center and an urban-style block apartment building will border the existing retail center at the nearby intersection.

Trilogy, the triplexes, will be built first, starting at the farthest property line and working south to 10th Avenue. It will have nine three-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom ones with rents ranging from $1,725 to $2,100 per month.

The larger units are townhouses with lofts. It should be ready for renters by the end of the year, weather permitting.

Park Avenue Apartments, a five-building garden-style project will offer 108 units in three-story walk-up buildings. It will be at the center of the site, near the clubhouse. The layout is traditional, but with oversized decks in a nod to the desire for more outdoor space during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Club 10 is the final piece of the residential picture.

The four-story building will be built around a center courtyard, with 60 units on three floors above a secured garage, all served by an elevator. The site slopes downward to the north, so the top floors promise to offer views toward the Columbia River.

The couple will own the property and manage it through Villarma’s businesses.

“Dennis and I never sell anything,” she said.

Nevertheless, each of the projects is on a distinct plot to ease future sales if conditions change.

The last piece of The Resort puzzle is office space, currently offered for sale through SVN | Retter & Co. Real Estate.

Villarma said she’s been tracking the Tri-City market since she first built apartments in the west Kennewick neighborhood in 2006. There have been economic bumps, but nothing like the wild swings that buffet western Washington and the Portland area where she is based.

The Tri-City economy tends to escape the big swings thanks to the stabilizing influence of federal spending at the Hanford site and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as the expansive influence of agriculture and food processing.

“It’s pretty darned stable,” she said.

She’s a fan too of the favorable building climate, both municipal and physical.

The city of Kennewick and neighboring jurisdictions process building requests efficiently, she said. And the long building season means construction workers can get more done in two months in the Tri-Cities than two months in wet, cold western Washington.

The first phase of The Resort at Hansen Park is funded with a combination of equity and convertible construction loans. Villarma and Pavlina don’t take on outside investors, but they do turn to commercial lenders to finance construction.

HAPO Credit Union is the lender for the Trilogy housing, a first for Villarma and Pavlina, who wanted a local partner on the project.

Washington Federal is the lender for the Park Avenue Apartments and clubhouse.

Both loans convert to traditional mortgages once the project is complete and leased to renters.

Go to ResortHP.com for more information.

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