eyes revamping its waterfront
Michael Whitney photo
Fred and Jennifer Baxter of Mukilteo discuss what they see in conceptual drawings to redevelop the waterfront during an open house held Nov. 1 in Rosehill Community Center. The concept has a new parking garage and makes Lighthouse Park all grass.
MUKILTEO — Mukilteo’s waterfront could be much more developed by the end of the decade.
The plan pairs the Port of Everett and the city together to remodel the entire five-block waterfront. It has the port find developers who’ll refashion asphalt lots into mixed-use shops, and build new development on the 20 acres of the ex-military “Tank Farm” fuel storage site and vacated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather center.
The end of Japanese Gulch Creek is to be uncovered and restored. At the other end, drawings show Lighthouse Park would be grass where the parking lot is today.
Concepts of all of this and more were shown last week at a well-attended open house in the Rosehill Community Center overlooking the water.
Underground geotechnical stability studies will shape how it ultimately can be built.
Fundamentally first, though, a parking center would be built on city land on the west end of First Street and the Mukilteo Speedway.
Officials agree that there won’t be a groundbreaking until two to three years from now at the soonest.
Building the parking center would be integrated with the replacement of the Mukilteo Speedway bridge over the rail tracks, a WSDOT project that local officials said is progressing.
Bridge construction is currently targeted to start in 2027, WSDOT spokesman David Rasbach said.
Port CEO Lisa Lefeber is confident the parking center will win government grant funds. The key attraction for winning grants is that it boosts public transportation with the ferry terminal,
Community Transit buses and Amtrak and Sounder train stop so close by, Lefeber said.
If the money doesn’t come, it “would change the whole approach,” Lefeber said.
Mayor Joe Marine said he called the port to pitch the plan shortly after re-taking office in January 2022.
Other waterfronts develop piece by piece, bit by bit, he said. A unified plan excites him.
“I want to see people, families walking, enjoying the waterfront,” Marine said. Buy a coffee, have an ice cream and “have more opportunities for people to do things.”
“Hopefully something for everyone,” Marine said later in the evening.
He anticipates an agreement between the port and city would be put before the City Council after the New Year, Marine said.
The goals would be done in phases.
Residents were generally positive on redevelopment, but unsure how it will all come together.
City Councilman Riaz Khan said he liked how there would be plenty of shops, but was disappointed the public was shown concept sketches that could change. “It is premature to hold this meeting,” Khan said of the open house.
Mike Dixon complimented that “it seems like they thought of everything” for this plan.
Fred Baxter said he liked how entities are working in unison to redevelop the area versus changes coming in “bits and pieces.”
Lefeber said the waterfront redevelopment would accomplish a plan the port began 20 years ago.
The former NOAA center is almost transferred to the Port, Lefeber said.
The NOAA building is “a key piece of property there,” Port commissioner Tom Stiger said.
The Tulalip Tribes own a 2-acre section of the waterfront.* The port has offered the tribe its expertise in redevelopment, Lefeber said.
Established businesses will not be affected in the redevelopment, officials said.
The city plans to have more open houses as the plan congeals.
“This is your waterfront, we want people to speak up,” Marine said.
* - CORRECTION:
The story reported that a longhouse is on the Tulalip Tribes' section of waterfront parcel. No such building exists today. Concept drawings of future development showed buildings such as a rectangular pavilion. The Tribune regrets the error.
Check out our online publications!
SPECIAL Our longest-living
section was in the May 10 paper
See the written pieces of the story on the
Tribune online here