Officials from SeaLevel Properties, Gracorp, the Port of Everett and the Snohomish County Council gather Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the new Waterfront Place Apartments at Waterfront Place Central near West Marine View Drive between 10th and 13th streets. The north building, with 135 apartments, opened to tenants earlier in May. The south building, with 131 units, is expected to open next year. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)

Officials from SeaLevel Properties, Gracorp, the Port of Everett and the Snohomish County Council gather Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the new Waterfront Place Apartments at Waterfront Place Central near West Marine View Drive between 10th and 13th streets. The north building, with 135 apartments, opened to tenants earlier in May. The south building, with 131 units, is expected to open next year. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)

A first for the Port of Everett: Housing on the waterfront

Developers and port officials celebrated the opening of the first phase of the Waterfront Place Apartments.

EVERETT — Officials from SeaLevel Properties, Gracorp and the Port of Everett gathered in front of the new Waterfront Place Apartments at the port Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The event marked the opening of the The Sawyer, the first of two four-story apartment buildings and the first housing to be built in the history of the Everett waterfront.

The Sawyer, the north building at 1300 West Marine View Drive, opened to tenants earlier this month.

“The feeling I have today is pride … and excitement to finally see this building come to fruition,” said John Shaw, SeaLevel’s property director, as he stood in front of the newly completed 135-unit apartment building. He thanked port and city of Everett officials for their support. “I remember walking this property five years ago,” he said. “That’s when we saw the vision here and it really took hold of us.”

SeaLevel, a division of Mercer Island-based American Classic Homes, purchased the 5.4-acre parcel in 2018 for $7 million. The company partnered with Gracorp, a Calgary-based builder.

“We made two pieces of history,” Shaw said. “The first would be the first waterfront apartments at the Port of Everett and the second, the largest fire in Everett in 50 years.” Shaw was referring to a massive fire last summer that destroyed the project’s under-construction south building.

The now-open north building has 118 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom units.

The south building, which is still under construction, will open next year with 131 apartments, including one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

“I couldn’t be happier standing here celebrating the opening of the Waterfront Apartments and to celebrate the first housing on the Everett waterfront,” Lisa Lefeber, CEO of the Port of Everett, told Wednesday’s gathering.

“We turned this area from an industrial waterfront to a destination waterfront,” Lefeber said of the ongoing transformation of what was once the epicenter of Everett’s mill industry. Replacing smokestacks and lumber mills is Waterfront Place Central, a 65-acre development that includes shops, restaurants, walking trails and the new Hotel Indigo. Waterfront Place is near West Marine View Drive, between 13th and 10th streets.

Lefeber said the port plans to break ground this fall on three retail pads just west of the south apartment building — two of which have already been spoken for by two restaurants, South Fork Bakery and Fisherman Jack’s.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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