Neighbors to Baker Heights
development hear update
EVERETT — Architects addressed the Delta Neighborhood’s monthly community meeting Feb. 18 to discuss the future Baker Heights Apartments. Baker Avenue, 14th Street, Pine Street and 15th Street all encompass this 3.6-acre plat (although the plan is to hold off one-fifth of the plat for future development).
Scott Shreffler and Mike Moedritzer from GGLO Design and Steve Yago, the Everett Housing Authority’s director of real estate acquisition, spoke in front of the neighborhood. They explained that this is the fourth community meeting they have had with the public; last spring they met with this same group and discussed ideas and concerns with this development. Yago explained that, “in a perfect world” demolition will start this fall.
Community members were curious if the plat was tested for arsenic and lead as part of the smelter cleanup process before demolition starts. The plat was tested and showed that no cleanup was necessary.
The complex will consist of four buildings totaling 105 low-income units. The four-story (three stories on the back side) senior-living building will be 42 units, and the rest are mostly two to three story townhouses with courtyards. There will be 76 on-site parking spaces, although, they plan to change the streetscape to provide street parking and incorporate green spaces.
The senior-living building will be separate from the single-living housing, all surrounding a community park area. Moedritzer explained: “One of the challenges, as you know, on this site is that it’s very steep and the buildings have to fit into the hillside.” Taking advantage of this topography, the group decided to incorporate an amphitheater into the complex.
The “pea patch” the neighborhood asked for last spring is still in the plans. It has been moved to phase two while the Housing Authority tries to establish a ground lease or cooperative agreement with WSU.
Finding the balance between an inviting community space and a secure space was something the community and the architects thought deeply on. “Every open space, every parking space, every nook and cranny is visible from some window somewhere on these buildings,” Moedritzer said.
There is some community concern for the portion of Wiggums Hollow Park that’s owned by the Housing Authority.
When asked what’s happening to this park, the architects responded with: “We’re trying to do one thing at a time.” Ryan Weber, the vice president of the Delta Neighborhood Association expressed, “Well, I’m just worried that it will get sold and developed before the Parks Department has a chance to acquire the land, because they’ve been putting in the work on maintaining it all these years.”
The city is currently reviewing this project. There will be a two-week comment period where the public can ask questions, and all neighbors within at least 150 feet of this project will be notified when this comment period begins.
The neighborhood traditionally meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Baker Community Center, 1401 Poplar St., however restrictions on group meetings have paused city neighborhood meetings. You also can visit the Delta Neighborhood Association Facebook page or its website: www.deltaneighborhood.org
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