From its inception in the early 2010s until earlier this month, the Camas-Washougal Harbor Washougal Waterfront Development Project has gone unnamed. For the most part, port officials and project managers referred to it colloquially as “the waterfront development”, or by its more formal, but still unofficial nickname, “The Waterfront at Parker’s Landing”.
Those days are now over.
Representatives of RKm Development announced at a meeting of the Harbor Commission on Wednesday August 17 that “Hyas Point” is the official name of the new development.
The name “had to be simple, memorable, clear, and provide something easy to remember and use interchangeably with conversation in the future,” according to Channa Kim, RKm’s special projects manager.
“‘Hyas’ means ‘great’ or ‘great’ or ‘important’ (in the Chinuk Wawa language),” Kim said. “It has all these different uses, and we liked the idea of a word that could encompass the whole community in a very positive and uplifting way, but is also quite general. And we liked the ‘point’ idea because when you look at a map, this area looks a bit angled, like it’s come to some sort of point, and there’s the existing access point at the edge of the water sticking out somehow. We just felt like it fit that name and that idea that it would be a gathering place, a point where people could meet and come together and join together.
Harbor Commissioner John Spencer said the reference to local Native American culture is “wonderful”.
“Almost everything else here is called ‘Parkersville,’ definitely attributed to the early white settlers here,” added Port Commissioner Cassi Marshall, “so it’s a pretty good balance.”
Kim told port officials that the company plans to incorporate Native American artistic elements into the final product.
“I’m super excited to show this once we flesh it out more, because it’s very, very cool,” she said. “The cool thing about bringing it into the design so early is that it will be permanent. They’re not art installations that could change or fade away. They’ll actually be permanently fixed into things, like the concrete or the pillars. We’re really excited about that.
Kim also showed off the development’s logo, which features the words “Hyas” and “Point” in capital letters and a three-dimensional diamond-shaped pattern with a wavy, wavy look.
“We wanted something very clean, easy to read and generalizable for future building names and identities,” she said. “We opted for this very clean font. There are a lot of things that went into this font, like the way the ‘n’ and the ‘s’ are formed. I’m not a “creative”, so I can’t explain why they are the way they are. We felt the ‘n’ had a bit of a personality, but was still very clean. And also there’s a literal but not-so-literal little homage to land and sea, a mark that we could use on different materials that gives a nod to water and the project, (that) we see (as a) a really crucial relationship.
RKm has developed a brand statement that describes Hyas Point as “your home, your backyard, your trails and your waterfront. … your place to gather with friends and connect, or to sit alone with a good book in a quiet corner of a quaint new cafe, nestled in the nurturing drama of breathtaking natural beauty all around.
“We thought it was really important to underline this brand statement and make sure we were all on the same page,” said RKm COO Eliana Kim. “There are a lot of adjectives, but this statement hopefully encompasses a lot of different activities and a lot of different experiences. We wanted to be rooted in something a little more emotional.
Eliana Kim added that RKm sees Hyas Point as a “haven of convergence”.
“When we think of mixed uses, we think of interaction with water, but also of commercial activity,” she said. “It’s really just an intersection of vibrant energy and peaceful calm to bring commercial and residential (components) together in a new downtown. This idea of bringing together people, nature, commercial activity and the nautical activity, it was really at the center of what we wanted to put in place.
“As a company, we’re very, very committed to the idea of ’mixed use’ and building the best value for any community. (Hyas Point) can be a place where you interact with water, have a great meal, meet friends, walk your dog, or even live. I think the idea of this mixed-use messaging was very, very important to highlight.
Marshall said she “loves the name and loves the logo”.
“It’s really impressive,” she said. “I love that in one of your original goal statements you focused on the human. The way you tied everything into this convergence thing, I think, is really, really great. beyond your project, but Ninebark (apartments), the harbour, public access and public spaces. At least twice in your presentation you talked about the physical and emotional connection between Camas and Washougal. We talked a lot the importance of keeping the waterfront project complementary to our downtowns, so it’s really nice to see you picking up on that and focusing on that again.
Harbor Commissioner Larry Keister agreed with Marshall.
“It’s very well thought out,” he said. “(RKm developers) asked themselves, ‘What was our original intention?’ Our original intent was a gathering place for the community, and I think they highlighted that in their branding description, and I’m very impressed and very happy.
The Port envisions Hyas Point as “a vibrant, walkable place with character and community gathering spaces, commercial, retail, mixed-use and residential uses,” with a design that “will honor the natural beauty and site and community history, and supporting the creation of a local and regional identity for the towns of Washougal and Camas.
Port officials expect the first phase of construction to begin in the spring of 2023 and include several streets, including a main thoroughfare running east to west along the Columbia River, and four buildings comprising 260 apartments and 56,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.