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Riverfront project details coming this month
EVERETT - An agreement that will lock in Polygon Northwest as the developer of the Riverfront Development will be coming before the City Council at the end of this month.
At this week’s meeting, the City Council will hear about Polygon’s financial resources to show it has the wherewithal to develop the stalled 107-acre site in north Lowell.
Last month, Polygon presented to the City Council an aggressive construction timeline that shows construction starting by next spring. Polygon’s plans include a large residential neighborhood on the former Simpson-Lee Mill site and a mixed-use development just north of that.  
“We’re excited to bring the Riverfront Development to life,” Polygon senior vice president Gary Young said in April.
The site is along the Snohomish River just southeast of the 41st Street-Interstate 5 interchange in central east Everett.
Polygon will be held to existing site development guidelines to ensure the site is attractive, pedestrian-friendly and an inviting community place. The guidelines further include public access to the Snohomish River, sidewalk-lined streets, public recreation, environmental protections and a town plaza.
Polygon is prepared to take on all of those obligations, public works director Dave Davis said last week.
The city finalized the development guidelines in 2009 while working with San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan, which was going to build an upscale commercial and residential development. Polygon is in the process of buying the property from OliverMcMillan.
The forthcoming agreement coming before the council swaps the developer rights from OliverMcMillan to Polygon.
Polygon’s Young told the Tribune things are “looking very positive” the acquisition will happen. The development rights transfer is a needed step in the process.
In April, Polygon said it wanted to build up to 1,400 houses and a 400,000-square-foot commercial district on the site. The site will include residential and mixed-use neighborhoods.
Polygon will have to adhere to the same city-imposed deadline to start construction by 2017 that OliverMcMillan was under.
OliverMcMillan bought the site for $8 million in April 2008, right before the Great Recession wiped out new construction projects. The site remains undeveloped.
The city has say on how the site will be developed because it was once city land and is now under a public-private partnership that comes with a number of building covenants. For the city’s part, it has spent millions on infrastructure improvements.
So far, Everett has spent $80 million buying and preparing the land for development, moving railroad tracks, building a roundabout near the Interstate 5 and 41st Street off-ramp and other site preparations.
The development site used to be a large landfill, the site of the infamous 1984 tire fire, and the former Simpson-Lee Mill and Eclipse Mill sites.
Polygon, based in Bellevue, is known for expansive master planned tract housing developments in Washington and Oregon. The company plans to build 1,336 new residential units this year in Washington, a Polygon representative said previously.

 

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