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Marysville area leads north county’s growth

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By M.L. Dehm
HBJ Freelance Writer
Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
  • Sonia Smith (left), manager of the new Marysville Walmart store, briefs assistant managers Jenny Burtmeier and Roy Lewis. Walmart, set to open later t...

    M.L. Dehm / For HBJ

    Sonia Smith (left), manager of the new Marysville Walmart store, briefs assistant managers Jenny Burtmeier and Roy Lewis. Walmart, set to open later this summer on the corner of Highway 9 and Highway 528, is just one of several new businesses to open in the greater Marysville area.

MARYSVILLE — A lot of attention has been focused on the recent expansion at Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip. But these businesses represent just a few of those that have come to the Marysville, Tulalip and Smokey Point areas in the last year or so.
This region of north Snohomish County along the I-5 corridor seems to be attracting a number of new businesses while existing ones revitalize.
“We just recently approved a binding site plan that has anywhere from 180,000 to 290,000 square feet of commercial space combined with 350 multi-family units,” said City of Marysville planning manager Chris Holland. “It doesn’t have permits yet but does have preliminary approval.”
The plan that Holland is referring to is the Lakewood Station project on the north side of 172nd Street NE, northwest of the Lakewood Crossing complex that hosts Costco, Target and a number of other retailers.
Although it appears that construction has already begun, Holland confirmed that the applicant, Smokey Point Commercial LLC, is simply clearing the site in preparation for future construction. The site layout could still change significantly based on comments from the Washington State Department of Transportation regarding access to 172nd Street NE (Highway 531) as well as addressing possible concerns from adjacent residents.
“I would not anticipate construction of the project until late this year or early next,” Holland said.
At this time, the names of Lakewood Station’s retail tenants remain confidential.
Just finishing construction at the busy corner of Highway 9 and Highway 528 is the 150,000-square-foot Marysville Walmart store. It is scheduled to open in late summer.
Residents may scratch their heads over the addition of a third Walmart so close to the existing stores in Quil Ceda Village and Smokey Point. But recently appointed Marysville Walmart store manager Sonia Smith isn’t surprised. She sees the new store as serving a different, more local demographic.
“Our other (Quil Ceda Village) location gets a lot of tourists,” Smith said. “I think we’ll be seen as the hometown Marysville store.”
Smith may be familiar to shoppers as the longtime store manager of the Everett Walmart. For the last two months, she and her colleagues have been busy at the Walmart hiring center on State Avenue sorting through thousands of applications and interviewing potential employees for the approximately 300 job openings the new store will bring to the local economy.
The new Walmart will be a full-size store with groceries, bakery, deli, fabric and a garden center.
“We won’t have a tire and lube shop but we will have all of the other different amenities that the other Supercenters have,” Smith said.
Although not standard at every Walmart, the Marysville location will also stock sporting goods, including guns. Smith isn’t concerned about competition from other nearby major sporting goods retailers. She believes that Walmart serves a different clientele, one that wants a good value for their dollar.
There are other new businesses on Highway 528 in Marysville. At the corner of 64th Street NE, O’Reilly Auto Parts opened in the suite previously occupied by Blockbuster Video. O’Reilly had originally been located at the corner of State Avenue and Fourth Street. That vacated corner will soon become home to a new Marysville Walgreens. An opening date for the Walgreens has not yet been set. Representatives for the company did not reply to requests for information.
Marysville Town Center has had a number of vacancies since the 2008 recession. But according to Chris Holland, it’s about to get a new anchor store. Big Lots, a brand name close-out retailer with more than 1,400 locations in the continental U.S., will open in the long-vacant space once occupied by Gottschalks.
Another national chain that has come to Marysville is Buffalo Wild Wings. The sports bar has taken over a space in Lakewood Crossing not 10 minutes away from The Ram Restaurant & Brewery that opened near the Seattle Premium Outlets late last year and Blazing Onion Burgers, another upscale “fast casual” restaurant that opened in Gateway Shopping Center last fall at I-5 and 116th Street NE.
Honda of Marysville will open a new dealership at 15714 Smokey Point Blvd., Holland said. Smokey Point is also the home of the new branch of Coastal Bank, the new Everett Clinic satellite and many other businesses that have recently come to town.
Not all of the businesses opening in the Marysville, Tulalip and Smokey Point region are large chains. Quik Stop Gyro Pita Pit is a casual Indian restaurant on State Avenue in Marysville that also offers take out.
More apartment complexes are coming to Marysville as well. “There is a 240 multi-family unit complex under construction. There’s another one that is 198 units,” Holland said.
In the 2006 comprehensive development plan for the City of Marysville, a concern was expressed that the growth over the two previous decades had been mostly residential. The city hoped to correct this imbalance by trying to kindle economic development and new business growth, which appears to be working.
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