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Polygon buys Riverfront Development site for $18 mil
EVERETT - Home builder Polygon Northwest bought the Riverfront Development site for $18.1 million last month and it is already preparing the site for development.
Everett received $350,000 as part of the deal.
Polygon wants to build a neighborhood of up to 1,400 houses. Work on the housing project will begin next spring, Polygon officials said previously. The company plans to build at least 400,000 square feet of commercial space elsewhere on the site and place tenants by 2016.
Exiting developer OliverMcMillan bought the 107-acre site in north Lowell from the city for $8 million in 2008.
The sale may look like San Diego-based OliverMcMillan netted a $10 million profit, but documents show the company lost $7 million on the deal. The company spent $25 million total, including millions on architects, marketing and capital costs.
Nothing ever got built, though. OliverMcMillan bought the site right before the real estate market collapsed in the Great Recession.
Five years later, Bellevue-based Polygon pitched an aggressive timeline to city leaders to start building houses by next spring.
The city sold the land but it is still tied to the Riverfront Development. As part of the sale, Everett is spending at least $80 million in infrastructure improvements and is mandating that Polygon build housing and retail on the site by 2017.
The city is satisfied the project is back on track and back on track and thinks Polygon will meet the deadline, city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said last week.
OliverMcMillan’s legwork could let Polygon springboard into building houses by next spring. A large share of OliverMcMillan’s spending went toward permitting hurdles including a shoreline permit and an environmental impact statement.
Polygon’s aggressive attitude has created mixed emotions among City Council members. OliverMcMillan gave the same spiel of grand plans for the Riverfront site before the Great Recession, some council members said.
Council members also have concerns Polygon may not have the capability to deliver retail tenants. To address this perceived weakness, Polygon hired a commercial retail expert as a consultant before purchasing the property.
The 100 acre site used to include a landfill, the Simpson-Lee Mill and the Eclipse Mill.
Polygon will be held to all of the development covenants OliverMcMillan agreed to with the city. City leaders want to make sure the site helps shape east Everett.
The city’s site plan also includes public trails and the city will build a three-acre park.

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