By Kurt Batdorf SCBJ Editor
EVERETT — As the first residents began to move into the 178-unit Library Place apartments next to the Everett Public Library, developer Skotdal Real Estate announced March 16 it had bought the neighboring Everett Elks building out of foreclosure.
The building includes nine unfinished condominiums and about 8,500 square feet of space now occupied by the Everett Elks Lodge. Last year, ownership of the property reverted to the building’s lender after the Elks stopped making payments and a court-appointed receiver was told to sell it. When it became clear the building would be sold, Skotdal Real Estate decided to act.
“We wanted to complete the vision that the Everett Elks originally established for the property, which was to contribute something positive to the urban landscape and continue raising the bar for downtown living,” Craig Skotdal, president of the company, said in a news release.
The sale closed March 16, he said.
The Everett Elks sold their original lodge building at Rucker Avenue and California Street to Skotdal Real Estate in 2007, where the first 22 units of Library Place now stand. The Elks used the proceeds to build its new lodge at the corner of Hoyt Avenue and California Street. But by the time the new Elks building was complete in 2008, the real estate market had collapsed in the recession and the condos never sold.
Skotdal said work began as soon as the sale closed to make cosmetic improvements and prepare the nine residential units as apartments. He said he expects the work to take 30 to 60 days. The company also intends to upgrade the building’s landscaping and make exterior cosmetic enhancements.
“The Elks have done great things for the Everett community and we’d like to find a way to keep them in the building,” Skotdal said.
He said that discussions with the Elks were just beginning and no immediate changes are planned for their occupancy and use of the property.
Work continues on Library Place, where an open central courtyard joins the first and second phases. Over the next few weeks, workers will add signage, artwork and displays that will highlight the project’s literary identity. An 8-foot tall stack of books near the building’s main entrance on Hoyt Avenue will be one of the last pieces of the project to fall into place. “The Book Stack” is being fabricated by Dillon Works of Mukilteo.
Prior to opening, about 10 percent of apartment homes in the second phase were preleased. Seventy-four units on the top two floors of the five-story building are ready for occupancy, building manager Kendra Shedd said. Skotdal said 22 units are occupied.
Construction continues in apartment units on the first three floors.
Shedd has been contacting nearby employers to promote the convenience of Library Place for their employees. Having served aboard the Everett-based destroyer USS Momsen, Shedd thinks sailors arriving with the USS Nimitz would like living at Library Place.
“For Navy personnel, we’re just a five-minute commute from the waterfront, plus we have all the advantages of nearby restaurants, shops and downtown attractions like Comcast Arena,” she said.
Shedd plans to get Library Place residents involved in a book club and host movie nights in the amenity room that will feature films based on popular books. She thinks residents will be naturally attracted to the Everett Public Library.
“As a family and as a company, we’re committed to bringing people back to downtown Everett and creating a vibrant urban neighborhood,” Skotdal said. “On a personal level, it feels good to keep our construction team employed and focused on another positive project that can make a difference for our hometown.”
Kurt Batdorf: 425-339-3102, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live at Library Place
Prospective tenants can view apartment floor plans, pricing and photos at www.Library-Place.com or call 425-252-6600 or email Live@Library-Place.com for information. Library Place’s leasing office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 2720 Hoyt Ave. Tours are available by appointment or by visiting the leasing office. The public will be able to see the project at an open house this summer.