EVERETT — When Lobsang Dargey bought his first chunk of downtown real estate, he said he planned to look for other opportunities to invest in Everett.
Two years later, he’s made good on that word. In addition to thoroughly renovating most of the Everett Public Market building, the 34-year-old businessman is planning a new apartment complex at the corner of Pacific and Rucker avenues and he now co-owns one of downtown Everett’s most historic buildings.
Dargey, along with Rick Lapinski and Mark Reichlin of Everett, recently purchased the Federal Building at 3006 Colby Ave. The structure, which was built 90 years ago and used for government offices until the past decade, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“I didn’t want someone to destroy the building, and it’s in a really nice location,” Dargey said as stood outside it Tuesday. “This building is like a Cadillac.”
The trio bought it for $2.4 million from Henry Cogswell College, which occupied it until two years ago, according to Snohomish County property records. Its assessed value is actually slightly higher than that.
No one’s yet agreed to lease space in the three weeks since the ownership changed, but Dargey said they have received interest from potential tenants.
The building has been empty since Cogswell College closed, and the exterior needs some care. Inside, however, a renovation done in 1999 updated the building’s heating, cooling, electrical and fire protection systems. Asbestos was removed and the three floors of the 26,000-square-foot structure were made fully accessible.
That means that only cosmetic touch-ups are needed before tenants move in, Dargey said. Intermingled with the modern lighting and fire sprinklers, however, are oak wood trims, original brick walls in the basement and a 1916 safe door that opens into a room-sized vault. The building’s sandstone block exterior includes ornate carved details.
Everett historian David Dilgard said the building’s reconstructed lobby is close in appearance to what the space looked like when it was used as a post office. When the new post office was built on Hoyt Avenue, the building then for years housed a number of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During the mid-1970s, a protest bombing damaged some of the original facade.
“That’s a great building. People don’t build buildings with that architecture or those materials anymore,” said Reichlin, a general contractor who lives in Tulalip. This is the fourth downtown Everett property in which he’s invested.
Dargey, a former Tibetan monk whose brother-in-law is famed tennis player Andre Agassi, said he’s in the permitting stage for Potala Village, a multistory, 108-unit apartment building with street-level retail and restaurant spaces. The development would replace Good Guys Car Store at 3030 Rucker Ave. If all goes will, construction will begin in the fall.
Additionally, Dargey said he’s talking with others about more development deals in the area, but nothing has been finalized yet.
Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or firstname.lastname@example.org