Riverfront developer may be looking to sell
City Council to get update on project Wednesday, Jan. 9
EVERETT - The developer stuck to the stalled Snohomish Riverfront property may want to sell the rights to another developer.
City officials got word last month that San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan has a potential buyer looking at the property.
Bellevue-based Polygon Northwest is doing site investigation work on the property, known as due diligence, which is one of Polygon’s first steps for considering whether or not it wants to buy. Polygon Northwest is best known for building large-scale housing tracts.
The city doesn’t know much else, chief administrative assistant Debra Bryant said last week. The City Council will get an update this week at its council meeting.
OliverMcMillan inked a development deal with the city in 2005 with plans for an upscale mixed-use community-oriented design on the property just south of the Interstate 5 and 41st Street interchange. The deal put millions of private and public money toward developing the site, including the city spending millions to beautify the site. If OliverMcMillan transfers the property, the city agreement would go with the property, Bryant said.
Since then, nothing’s been built on the 100 acres of land.
OliverMcMillan has a deadline of 2017 to start construction but originally had planned to complete construction by 2011. OliverMcMillan blamed the Great Recession for the delay.
The city has spent more than $50 million in utility infrastructure and land improvements as part of the agreement, with more projects to come including a roundabout at the end of 41st Street.
Late last year, then-Council President Ron Gipson put a hold on any votes for further improvements made on the city’s dime, including a $1 million riverfront trail. Building the pedestrian trail and a sewer force main for the site is up for a vote again this week under new Council President Jeff Moore.
OliverMcMillan’s original plan called for a grand site of upscale housing and commercial space. It inked a purchase-and-sale agreement in 2007 with a luxury movie theater company to be its first tenant.
The plan may have changed.
Former Councilman Arlan Hatloe said in another newspaper he had traveled to California recently to talk with big-box retailers about the property.
Resident Katrina Lindahl warned the council last week about the property’s future after reading those comments.
“A lot of promises were made to citizens that there would be quality development,” Lindahl said, adding, “I just don’t want to see the city compromise because of the recession the quality of business that would go in there.”
Neither OliverMcMillan’s riverfront property broker nor a Polygon spokeswoman returned phone calls from the Tribune.
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