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Everett Station area could blossom into a neighborhood, group says

EVERETT — Fifteen years ago in February, Everett Station opened its doors. Over time, it was hoped the industrial area surrounding it
would convert into a centerpoint for transit-oriented development, a place where apartments and businesses could populate themselves around the station that has regional trains, buses
and Amtrak connections down the West Coast.
However, nothing has been built. A private workgroup called the Everett Station District Alliance wants to change that.
“We think this neighborhood needs a master plan for development,” said Ed Petersen, a cofounder for Housing Hope who’s leading the alliance.
The “district” is a 50-block area around the station.
The district’s broad boundaries are from Hewitt Avenue to the north to 41st Street to the south, Broadway to the west and Interstate 5 as a natural divider.
Development suggested in drawings commissioned by the alliance, though, is primarily shown in a section more immediately around Everett Station between Broadway to Cedar Avenue, and from Pacific Avenue to about 35th Street.
The alliance presented its long-term vision at an open house late last month.
The group points to urban renewal centered around transit stations elsewhere, such as in Denver, the Pearl District in Portland and the Northgate area in Seattle, as guiding examples.
“Other neighborhoods have done it, we can do this as well,” Petersen said before an audience of approximately 80 people, many of whom were area stakeholders.
Some of the ideas include a community center, a farmers market, public spaces and pocket parks mixed in. It’s envisioned the neighborhood by 2037 could have
4,500 new housing units in it, capable of a thriving neighborhood of more than 5,000 residents. This pre-buildup is coincidentally timed just about when Sound Transit’s light rail line might make it to Everett.
Private development would be a key influencer to make the plans work; the plans call for market-rate development standing six or seven stories.
The only new development on the clear horizon in the district’s boundaries appears to be Housing Hope’s
HopeWorks Station II, a mixed-use site set to open by 2019.
Alliance member Greg Tisdel, who also is on the city’s planning commission, said that other developers are
talking about building projects, but he couldn’t divulge any details.
Development will be driven in part by where people live
for their jobs, Tisdel noted.
The alliance group is working in concert with the city planning department, but has taken on much of the
legwork itself since forming in 2014. The Puget Sound Regional Council, Everett Transit and Sound Transit also participate.
An ad hoc group about
Smith Avenue, which has challenges with opioid addiction and homeless camps, folded into the alliance this year.
Nicholas Bratton works for the nonprofit Forterra, which has pursued land swap deals to get developers into building inside cities instead of paving over farmland.
Bratton said the Everett Station area could work for this kind of land swap. Forterra is a key member in the alliance.
The boundaries differ from the city’s Metro Everett plan for the greater downtown area.
The alliance’s work could bring additional ideas for the Metro Everett plan, one of the plan’s coordinators David Stalheim said at the Sept. 26 meeting. Adding  more market-rate housing is one common goal.

Everett Station District Alliance meetings
The Everett Station District Alliance meets every third Thursday at noon at HopeWorks Station, 3331 Broadway in Everett. The next meeting is Thursday, Oct. 19.
The alliance group is in the process of gaining formal nonprofit status.
Petersen said the private group’s meetings will be freely open to the public unless it becomes too crowded.
An annual group membership costs $25.
For more information about the alliance, visit www.everettstationdistrict.com


 

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