Located on the banks of the Snohomish River, Everett’s Riverside Business Park will soon house an aerospace supplier facility and a distribution center for Federal Express. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Located on the banks of the Snohomish River, Everett’s Riverside Business Park will soon house an aerospace supplier facility and a distribution center for Federal Express. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Port of Everett’s Riverside Business Park finally takes shape

Two major projects are being built at the site along the Snohomish River and should open this year.

EVERETT — It’s long been imagined as a place to bring businesses and jobs to Everett.

And it’s long languished.

Twenty years ago, the Port of Everett purchased 95 acres along the Snohomish River in northeast Everett at the site of a former Weyerhaeuser mill.

The Port envisioned 1 million square feet of warehouses and manufacturing and office space, a hub that would employ as many as 750 people.

At the time, in 2000, the project was described as coming on line within a year, development would be imminent.

That didn’t happen.

Two decades later, the Riverside Business Park is finally taking shape. Two major projects — a 102,500-square-foot building for an aerospace supplier and a distribution center for Federal Express — are being built and should open later this year.

Construction could start on two other industrial buildings this year. And the Port is in negotiations to sell the last of its two available parcels.

Architect Terrie Battuello has led development projects at Everett’s new Riverside Business Park. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Architect Terrie Battuello has led development projects at Everett’s new Riverside Business Park. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

One of the chief visionaries is Terrie Battuello, who was hired by the Port in 2013 to deliver development to the Riverside Business Park, 505 E. Marine View Drive, and a residential and retail development called Waterfront Place along Port Gardner.

“The time is right in Everett,” said Battuello, the Port’s chief of business development. “There’s such a renaissance going on and there’s a very small amount of industrial property in Everett. That’s what is creating a stronger demand and getting people to take chances.”

The developments could add 700 well-paying jobs into the community, Battuello said. That’s not too far off the estimates of 20 years ago.

Workers will begin moving into one of those new buildings this month, said Dave Kessler, the principal for Auburn’s Latitude Development. His firm is constructing the building for aerospace supplier Northwest Aerospace Technologies, an engineering-services firm focused on modifying jetliners for airlines, aircraft manufacturers and airplane leasing companies. The company is expected to bring 200 employees to the park.

Latitude Development owns another parcel in the business park and would like to begin construction in June on a similar-sized second building, Kessler said.

KW Projects is building the Federal Express cross-docking center to allow semi-trailer trucks to back in and allow packages to be sorted easily. The business park has easy access to I-5 via Highway 529.

The port sold 10 acres for nearly $3.7 million to Panattoni Development Co. in November. The company said at the time that it wants to start construction on its project this spring and finish by later this year.

Those will join Motor Trucks, which moved its International truck dealership into a $7.5 million building at the business park in 2010.

Everett’s Riverside Business Park is seen on Friday, Feb. 9. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Everett’s Riverside Business Park is seen on Friday, Feb. 9. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

The port hopes that selling two other parcels will to get the properties back into the hands of businesses that will employ workers and pay taxes.

“The biggest thrill in my job is going to work and seeing other workers headed to their jobs,” Battuello said. “As an economic developer, my job is to create opportunities for the residents of our community. When I see people going to work, that’s what makes it worth it for me.”

The county owns another parcel in the business park and leases it to Republic Services to transfer waste onto railroad cars to ship away to landfills. The owner of landscaping materials business Pacific Topsoils owns one other piece of the land, which is for sale.

The business park was the home of a Weyerhaeuser Mill B, which operated from 1915 into the 1980s. The Port of Everett purchased the property in 1998.

The site has undergone extensive environmental cleanup, and the port spent most of 2012 bringing in fill soil to raise the land above the 100-year flood plain. The port reinforced a bridge over the railroad tracks to the site and added a road system, utilities and a trail along the river.

(The City of Everett plans a trail system along the river and Port Gardner around the city’s north peninsula; the trails at Riverside Business Park will connect to that system.)

Only about 45 acres of the entire site is usable for development, Battuello said.

Battuello, who spent seven years working on economic development in Bothell, said it takes time for a project like the Riverside Business Park to align with the “right place, right time, right people.”

“We’re really excited to see it happening,” Battuello said. “Part of the attraction of working at the port is envisioning projects like this. We have a lot of patience in making them happen. It’s really exciting when the community starts to see the fruits of our labor. This is one of those times.”

Jim Davis: 425-339-3097; jdavis@heraldnet.com; @HBJnews.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Everett to consider allowing three more pot shops in city

After months of economic, planning and public safety review, the city council could vote next month.

Economic Alliance and Lynnwood offer new business grants

The grants are derived from the federal Coronavirus Assistance, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Paine Field gets $5M grant to remedy a CARES Act oversight

Shortchanged earlier, the Snohomish County airport is the recipient of a new federal grant.

Amazon’s buying spree of used planes goes against green pledge

Airlines are being spurred to hasten the retirement of their oldest, fuel-guzzling aircraft.

An update: We’re proud and humbled by our readers’ support

The Daily Herald investigative fund has grown, and now we’re working to expand environmental coverage.

Commentary: The 737 Max debacle won’t be the end of Boeing

The plane may actually be the bright spot in Boeing’s airliners business.

Panel blasts Boeing, FAA for ‘horrific culmination’ of failures

Investigators found that the company had a financial incentive to avoid more pilot training.

Marysville offers another round of CARES Act grants

Funds are available for those who need help paying for housing or business expenses amid COVID-19.

Port again wins millions in grant money for mill site revamp

The Port of Everett successfully reapplied for federal funding after losing $15.5 million last year.

‘Better with Boeing’ campaign aims to keep 787 assembly here

A new marketing effort hopes to persuade the company to keep Dreamliner work in Everett.

737 Max engineer didn’t know details of flight control system

The program’s leaders only assumed pilots would react differently to the triggering of the MCAS.

Everett company faces $230,000 fine for safety violations

State inspectors allege that Chilos Builders exposed workers to hazards at area construction sites.