An empty field in the northeast corner of Vancouver, Washington, one that looks ripe for a new subdivision, has become one construction firm’s asset precisely because it will never be developed.
Its owner, Terrace Mitigation Bank LLC, stands to generate millions in revenues by restoring it and selling those efforts as credits to local developers, whose projects may cause ecological damage.
“It’s very unique in that what we’re selling is not a good or service,” said Cornell Rotschy, co-owner of the bank and a co-owner of Rotschy Inc., a construction firm in Clark County.
As a wetland is restored, the agency doles out credits to be sold to public or private developers.
The value of the credits will fluctuate with the real estate market, Rotschy said.
A credit today would cost around $190,000, he said, and the bank is expected to generate 81 credits in the end. At today’s value, that would be $15.2 million.
Images courtesy of Washington Dept. of Ecology.