By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
EVERETT — The biggest name in local real estate has started exploring a new apartment project that could further transform downtown.
Skotdal Real Estate’s latest venture would take shape on the southeast corner of Rucker and Hewitt avenues. If the project moves forward, 100 apartments would rise from the same corner where a Hertz rental-car lot operates now.
The company is in the “early stages of planning,” President Craig Skotdal said.
“Our goal is to design and develop a high-quality building that will attract more residents to downtown Everett,” Skotdal said.
The new homes would add to an apartment boom under way from Colby Avenue west toward the waterfront.
Skotdal Real Estate in 2012 finished building 200 apartments in the Library Place development. That’s on Hoyt Avenue, about two blocks away.
Another 220 upscale apartments are under construction on Grand Avenue, a block west of the Hertz lot. They’re part of a project by developer Lobsang Dargey’s company, Path America, that includes an indoor farmers market and a 110-unit hotel. Dargey in 2011 finished another 108 apartments around the corner, at Rucker and Pacific avenues.
Everett real estate values slumped during the recession and have been slow to recover. Business departures have worsened the slump, including the April 2012 closure of Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s waterfront mill.
The past few months however, have brought some positive economic signs.
Foss Maritime’s parent company, Saltchuk, in October announced plans to bring a shipyard with 250 jobs to the site of Kimberly-Clark’s former mill. Last week’s narrow contract approval by Boeing Machinists also brings 777X jetliner production to Everett.
Skotdal said his company is working through the permitting process to figure out whether it’s feasible to build the new apartments. Schematic drawings submitted to Everett city planners show seven floors.
“One of our primary motivations for undertaking this project is to help revitalize Everett’s urban center,” Skotdal said. “Developing new market-rate housing is essential for creating a positive retail environment where restaurants and small businesses can be successful. … Simply put, downtown Everett needs more urban dwellers.”
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; firstname.lastname@example.org.