Many thanks to Everett City Councilmember Brenda Stonecipher for her excellent piece in Sunday’s Herald regarding the Kimberly Clark site. (Viewpoints, “What is the right use for old mill site?”) By every financial metric — number of jobs, construction tax revenues and annual tax revenues — option 3 is the most attractive. And yet the Planning Commission recommends option 4, which shows every sign of being approved.
Seattle has tremendous public access to the water, as do Edmonds, Mukilteo, Bellingham, Anacortes, and many other cities throughout the state and country. Just imagine the waterfront destination Everett could have, right at the foot of Everett Avenue. There could be a variety of businesses, including shopping and dining, with a public walkway along the water’s edge. This would be a mere two blocks north of Hewitt Avenue, rather than the 12 blocks to the marina or 18 blocks to the 10th St. Boat Launch. Just imagine.
To quote from an article in “Let’s talk Business” from September, 2005: “Waterfront development benefits from big picture thinking. Simply trying to grow businesses in the area may not consider the amenities the waterfront can provide. Combining public engagement, public access and economic development can result in a stronger plan to re-energize the waterfront district to the benefit of all.” (http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/downtowns/ltb/lets/sept05ltb.pdf)
Let’s take the time to do this right, for the citizens of Everett as well as the business community.