Council questions Polygon’s plan for commercial development
EVERETT - The City Council wants reassurance Polygon Northwest, which mostly builds planned residential neighborhoods, will fulfill an obligation to bring quality commercial tenants to the Riverfront Development site.
Polygon is anticipated to take over the stalled 100-acre development project located near Lowell. The city wants a combination of housing and commercial tenants on the site.
Company officials said they don’t have any commercial tenants lined up for the site yet but said large residential neighborhoods will draw commercial development.
“The best result is to work hand-in-hand with residential development” by putting the area on the retail market’s radar, Polygon vice president Gary Young told the City Council last week. “We believe this is the catalyst and we’re willing to make this investment.”
The plan worries Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher.
Years ago the city inked a deal with OliverMcMillan, a commercial developer, to build the Riverfront site into a high-end mixed use development of retail and condos.
The demographic of the residents will determine the quality of the commercial development, Stonecipher said.
“Once that residential is built, that commercial is fated to follow what that residential is,” she said.
The City Council is expected to vote this week on allowing Mayor Ray Stephanson to transfer the project from OliverMcMillan to Polygon.
If the council pauses, Polygon will have to renegotiate its deal with OliverMcMillan, Young said.
Polygon’s deadline is June 3 to secure the city’s transfer, he said.
The city’s transfer agreement holds Polygon to the same 2017 construction start deadline OliverMcMillan was under.
Polygon will take on funding and building many of the public amenities originally assigned to the city if the transfer is completed. Polygon also has to commit to showing it has the money to build a main spine road from the 41st Street roundabout into the development before it can start building houses.
By making Polygon pay for some of the public amenities, the city could save $875,000, attorney Tim Benedict said last week. The city already has spent $80 million in infrastructure projects for the Riverfront site.
Under the transfer agreement, Polygon will pay the city $350,000 to cover legal costs.
Polygon and OliverMcMillan have an Aug. 1 city deadline to complete their land sale under the city’s agreement.
OliverMcMillan bought the property from the city in 2008 for $8 million. The recession ended up killing the project. City-hired analysts told the City Council last week Polygon is a good fit for the project.
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