By Eric Fetters Herald Writer
EVERETT — It almost feels like boating season on an unusually warm February day, with the sun sparkling on the waters of calm Port Gardner.
Most of the boats at the Port of Everett’s 12th Street Yacht Basin are quietly moored this time of year, waiting for the season ahead. But progress has continued all winter on the area around the basin.
The waterfront acreage there, known as the Craftsmen District, officially opens at the end of this week.
The 13-acre site features new boatyard facilities, with an emphasis on environmental cleanliness. About $7 million was spent on cleaning up the district and neighboring areas of the waterfront that had been used for various industrial and maritime purposes since the mid-1940s.
“We’ve had a fair range of businesses down there, from mills to boat fabricators, all these different activities that took place,” said John Mohr, the Port of Everett’s executive director.
The new facilities include storm- and waste-water collection systems and other features to meet the Department of Ecology’s new boatyard standards.
“It is the most environmentally sophisticated boatyard in Puget Sound. It is truly a zero discharge facility, so it all goes straight into the sewer, not the Sound,” Mohr said.
He explained that the Craftsmen District is designed to provide services and amenities that complement the port’s 2,300-slip marina. That includes Bayside Marine, a boat storage, sales and repair business. The port’s new marina operations building is there, and more marine sales, supply and rental shops could locate in the area as well, according to the port.
“We need to be able to service the needs of the marina tenants,” Mohr said.
Dan Hatch and Jeff LaLone, co-owners of Bayside Marine, said they’re happy to be an anchor tenant in the newly redeveloped area. The business, with roots going back decades on Everett’s waterfront, began moving last year into its new, custom-designed building overlooking the yacht basin.
The $4 million, 54,000-square-foot retail store, service shop and indoor boat storage area is a far cry from the much smaller facility Bayside operated a few blocks away. While the boat storage building was open last year, Bayside’s new retail shop there opened just last month.
“When people walk in, there’s a ‘wow’ factor here,” LaLone said.
With a phone call, a customer can have his watercraft moved from the stacked boat storage building and into the marina within minutes, so that it’s ready and waiting for a spin on the water by the time he arrives. Not far away, the port’s new boat lift can handle up to 165,000 pounds, enough to handle the longer and larger boats using the yacht basin. Mohr said the bigger reserved slips in that area of the marina, which opened last summer, are expected to be filled up by the time summer starts.
The Craftsmen District, of course, is just part of the Port of Everett’s makeover plan for the city’s waterfront. Just to the south will be the most visible portion of the $400 million redevelopment of the waterfront, 660 condominiums, retail shops and other amenities. Work on that phase by developer Maritime Trust waterfront has been delayed after a major financial backer dropped out because of the nation’s mortgage mess.
Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or email@example.com.