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Transfer secures over 80 acres of future parkland in Everett

EVERETT — A long-awaited land transfer from a private company to the city of Everett, for parks and recreational development, is soon happening.
About 87 acres in a south Everett industrial area will be turned over to the city in stages by the Cemex concrete company to turn into a park adjoining the Phil Johnson Ballfields, the 13-acre park that was developed after a prior company land transfer in 2001.
The City Council signed off on the transfer last week.
Counting the Phil Johnson Ballfields, Cemex ultimately will have donated 100 acres to the city. When the park is finally developed, it will be one of Everett’s largest. (Forest Park is the city’s biggest at 197 acres.)
The area is south of Glenwood Avenue and north of Casino Road.
The new parks would have “low impact recreation amenities” — such as trails, off leash areas, open space/grass play fields and playgrounds, according to city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke.
Further development will be contingent upon approval of a future master plan, and fulfillment of commitments made by Cemex. The master plan is expected to be created in 2020-2l, according to Pembroke.
Nearly 20 years ago, the former owner of Cemex agreed to donate land for
parks in exchange for an agreement that allowed the company to re-develop some of its Everett land
—previously used mostly for “mineral extraction”—for other commercial and industrial purposes.
Fifty-seven of the donated acres are now prepared for transfer and approximately 27 acres will be turned over to the city on or before Jan. 31, 2021, when certain site preparations are completed by Cemex. The company also will pay $2 million, in five annual payments, to the city in exchange for a lessoning of “construction acceptance standards” on the 27-acre parcel. In the agreement, the city agreed that Cemex will not need to remove all water from the site prior to the transfer, but can place additional fill on the site that will help remove the water over a longer period of time.
The city also will receive an additional $413,500, providing 2.62 acres is subtracted from the 27-acre parcel; those acres can be sold or developed by Cemex. According to Pembroke, 1.61 acres will be developed by Fed Ex and the remaining land used by Cemex.
The $2.4 million will be placed in the parks department’s capital reserve account and used specifically for development at this location. The money can be used to “help leverage other funds,” such as a state grant for local parks through the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Paul Kaftanski, a city executive director, said the bottom line is that this property is finally coming into Everett’s hands. “We need more park land in the city,” he said.
Kaftanski said the generous size of the park will allow for more options. “You can develop lots of recreational activities” on that much land, he said.
Kaftanski said larger parks serve two purposes: They can be a neighborhood park for local residents as well as a “destination” park that people will access by car.
The city will try to “design what is appropriate for that location,” he said.

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