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Selling county yard on Avenue D to be handled by real estate broker

SNOHOMISH — The big, vacant lot along Avenue D opposite 10th Street might change ownership as soon as this spring.
It is Snohomish County’s former public works yard. At nearly 10 acres in size, it’s going to become one of the biggest pieces of land available for sale in Snohomish, except for the former mill across the Snohomish River that stands at 33.69 acres.
The county plans to hire a real estate broker to assist. It is anticipated the County Council will approve hiring the broker later this month, according to Randy Blair, the county project manager overseeing the site.
“The property will then be put on the market for sale,” Blair wrote. The county does “not currently plan on selling the property before the end of this year.”
Under current plans, closing a sale is not anticipated by “until the first half of 2022,” Blair wrote.
It will be sold at market rate prices. Earlier this year, the city petitioned the county to donate part of the land to the city to draw in affordable housing development but this was rejected because of the site’s legacy funding dynamics. The county can’t gift any part of the site because long ago the county used its Road Fund account to buy it.
Meanwhile, the city is preparing to rezone a large stretch of Avenue D, including this site, under a plan called the Midtown District. The rezone includes allowing bigger buildings.
The city plans to do the finishing touches on the plan during winter and spring, city planning director Glen Pickus outlined recently. The City Council is scheduled to vote to accept the rezoning plan this spring.
Site preparation for the Avenue D yard began years ago, including demolition and lengthy cleanups of ground contamination. 
The lot served as the county road maintenance and shop facility from the 1930s to 2008.
When the former Snohomish yard sells, the money will go toward redeveloping the county’s road maintenance facility in Arlington, county Public Works Director Kelly Snyder wrote in a May 20 letter transmitted to the city.

— Tribune archives are included in this story




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