By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
EVERETT — There won’t be any more vacancies at the Royal Motor Inn now that Everett Community College has bought the aging north-side motel.
The college boarded up the motel on Broadway earlier this month and could tear it down in the summer, building a nursing and health sciences center in its place.
The college paid $2.3 million for the 1-acre location. That’s more than $1 million of its assessed value, which Snohomish County put at $1.22 million in January.
Several factors drove the price beyond the assessed value, said Pat Sisneros, vice president of college services.
For one, the college had to conduct an independent appraisal to buy the land. That set the property’s price tag at $1.7 million. Then another buyer entered the picture, outbidding the college, Sisneros said.
Snohomish County assessor Cindy Portmann said the building was appraised by the county as a low-end motel. The fact that the college had to deal with another buyer for the land could drive the price up, she said.
“It doesn’t seem necessarily odd,” she said.
Sisneros called the purchase a win-win. He said the college could have dealt with the competing buyer by exercising eminent domain — the process that lets the government take hold of a property — but avoided that complex process by settling on $2.3 million. The motel was owned by a limited liability company with officers in Oregon.
“We wanted to buy, they wanted to sell,” Sisneros said. “It never got adversarial.”
The motel, built in 1961, made headlines in 2008 when it ran into code issues. City officials said the problems were resolved nearly two years ago, and the motel has operated safely since then.
Sisneros said criminal activity also was a problem, and another reason why the college was glad to take it off the market.
“We feel it will make this north end neighborhood safer,” he said.
Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said while police did respond to occasional 911 calls there, it wasn’t recently drawing the police that often.
“Whatever events that occurred at the hotel are in the past, and we’re just looking forward to whatever the college is doing,” he said.
Design work is already under way on the new 70,000-square-foot nursing and health sciences building.
The entire project may cost about $44 million to build. College officials are optimistic they will win funding from the Legislature for the rest of the project next year. The building could open in 2013, Sisneros said.
The facility will include updated clinical simulation sites, meeting areas, and science and computer labs, Sisneros said.
The development along Broadway Avenue fits with the college’s long-term plans to expand the campus further eastward into commercial areas.
“We’ve got a couple other properties on our list,” Sisneros said. “We’ll probably have some more news here in the next couple weeks.”
Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455; email@example.com.