By Katya Yefimova HBJ Freelance Writer
EVERETT — Work has begun on a downtown complex that will eventually include a year-round farmers market, a hotel and luxury apartments.
The project, called Pagoda Village, is the brainchild of Everett developer Lobsang Dargey, who owns Potala Village on Rucker and Pacific avenues and the Everett Public Market Building on Grand Avenue.
“In the north end, Everett is one of the most beautiful places you can live,” he said. “To me, Everett has a lot of potential.”
Dargey said he wants people to start seeing downtown Everett as a destination — a place to shop, live and enjoy. The $53 million Pagoda Village is part of that vision.
Slated to be the first of several similar projects in the area, the complex will rise on the west side of Grand Avenue, bounded by Hewitt Avenue and Wall Street. Most of the site is the former Motor Trucks International heavy truck dealership.
Construction on the hotel portion of the project began about a month ago at the corner of Wall Street and W. Marine View Drive and is expected to take at least two more years, Dargey said.
Plans for the 60,000-square-foot Pagoda Village include 220 high-end apartments, an indoor farmers market, a commercial-grade kitchen and an attractive public plaza.
Dargey said he plans to make the kitchen available to community groups.
Granite countertops, views of the Puget Sound, an exercise room, a common area and barbecue grills are among the features planned for the apartment complex.
“We will have apartments not comparable to any others in the Everett area,” Dargey said.
Original plans for the complex also included commercial office space, but that’s no longer part of the project.
Path America, a company founded by Dargey, is developing the project. The firm relies on foreign investments through a government-sponsored program designed to create local jobs.
Under the program, a foreign national who invests at least $1 million or, in high poverty areas, $500,000, into the U.S. economy is eligible to become a permanent resident of the U.S.
Congress started the immigrant investor program in the early 1990s to stimulate the U.S. economy and encourage job growth, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The key requirement is that each foreign family’s investment must create 10 jobs, directly or as a result of the contribution, within two years. Based on an economic report, Dargey estimates that Pagoda Village will bring more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.