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Downtown Vancouver prepares for first food park

Two entrepreneurs are trying to put Vancouver on the map by turning an old transit station into a food park.

Not only can Alex Mickle and Kylan Johnson see this spot's hidden potential, but they’re ready to tap into it.

“All the ingredients are here and it's just a matter of creating a destination for people outside of Vancouver,” said Johnson, co-founder.

They're utilizing a space that used to be a transit center for C-Tran, and turning it into an area where food vendors, a taproom, and live music could thrive.

“Vancouver is still defining what its cultural identity is, and we want to get people engaged in that as well so they can define what it will look like,” said Mickle, co-founder.

They're calling it the Columbia Food Park. The idea is to become a restaurant incubator for those who want to gauge their product before starting their own business.

”I know one person at least in my life and we're like, ‘you should do this for a living’ and they're like, ‘oh no. I have a family to support, will I be successful?’” said Mickle.

The food park will be open all week long to give people the chance to experience and contribute to the city they live, instead of finding it somewhere else.

“We like going to Portland but we'd love to stay closer to home,” said one Vancouver woman.

“We don't have the music, certainly not the variety or restaurants than they do in Portland,” said Wesley Lashbrook, a Vancouver resident.

“The traffic to Portland is ridiculous. Frankly, the more that is here in Vancouver that I can do, I’d rather do,” said Kat Rockwell, a Vancouver resident.

Mickle and Johns hope to get Columbia Food Park up and running by this summer.

They said the project will cost them up to $200,000. They’ve teamed up with several business partners, but are still short $45,000. If you'd like to contribute to their kickstarter or learn more about how to get involved, click here.

Columbia Food Park will be located at 108 E. 7TH Street, Vancouver, WA 98660.

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