Despite the ongoing pandemic, there was a plethora of construction and development projects to write about the past 12 months. Some wrapped up. Others are just getting started. News related to local airports also turned heads, along with a change in ownership of a longtime eatery. Here are the most-read Daily Herald business stories for 2021:
Snohomish County’s two biggest airports are considered possible relief valves for explosive aviation growth anticipated in coming decades. A new study of regional capacity dares to explore runway expansion at Paine Field in Everett and at Arlington Municipal.
Alaska Airlines — the only airline serving the two-gate terminal after United Airlines ended operations there in early October — announced plans to operate 12 peak-day departures from Paine Field beginning Jan. 4.
A new six-story apartment building, under construction since 2019, has opened in downtown Everett. The Marquee Apartments at 2721 Wetmore Ave., a Skotdal Real Estate development, features 77 market-rate apartments and 118 parking spaces in an underground garage.
Hampton Lumber, a Portland-based company, has purchased 145,000 acres of timber land to supply its sawmill in Darrington. The Darrington mill is that town’s largest employer. The population is less than 1,500, and 160 people work at the mill.
One of Lake Stevens’ newest commercial developments could soon be underway. Lake Stevens Landing, a proposed retail and dining plaza at the intersection of Highway 9 and Soper Hill Road, is slated to include up to nine businesses. Development has been in consideration for a few years but the city has only received one user application to date, which came in June from an ARCO gas station and AM/PM convenience store.
Port of Everett officials broke ground Nov. 8 on “restaurant row.” The Project at Fisherman’s Harbor begins the first phase of the port’s 65-acre Waterfront Place Central mixed-use development that includes restaurants, shops and offices. When completed next May or June, the two new buildings will house a new restaurant, outdoor seating, a new bakery and three marine offices. In all, the port expects to add seven or eight mixed-use buildings and generate more than 900 jobs in the next few years.
The Sisters Restaurant in Everett closed its doors in November 2020 due to a state ban on indoor dining and laid off the employees. This year, with spring approaching and the lease up in April, owner Martha Quall began taking steps to shutter the establishment that opened in 1983. But Martha’s grandson, Jackson Quall, decided to step in and re-open the restaurant in June. He now runs it with his girlfriend, Archie Chandler.
Amazon revealed itself as the mystery tenant behind a planned development known for months as Project Roxy. The Seattle-based online retail giant set its sights on opening the $355 million distribution center by the end of the year. It didn’t happen but construction is under way of the massive facility south of Arlington Municipal Airport, in the Cascade Industrial Center at 4620 172nd St. NE.
Costco is building one of its trademark warehouse stores along Highway 9 in Lake Stevens, but a legal battle stalled the project for months. The neighborhood group Livable Lake Stevens tried to appeal the city’s decision to approve Costco’s permits. However, the lawsuit was dismissed and the company broke ground in June.
1. All eyes on Alice, the electric plane made in Arlington (Sept. 19)
In July, Arlington-based Eviation Aircraft unveiled the design for the production version of its fully electric, nine-passenger commuter airplane, known as Alice. Eviation currently employs 120 people, but expects to see those numbers jump if it obtains federal regulators’ approval for Alice to enter service. Company officials hope to secure approval in 2024, after which the airplane would go into commercial production. The company plans to locate its production facilities in Arlington.