EVERETT — The Port of Everett commission unanimously agreed tonight to tear down the Collins Building, saying the historic structure is too costly to repair.
Commissioner Mark Wolken suggested the move, saying that there is no proposed used for the building that would pay back the estimated $7 million that if would cost to fix up its core and exterior. Supporters had hoped it would include a public market, with a museum on the second floor and office and hobby spaces on the third floor.
“There’s no chance that sentiment alone would be enough to sustain the building,” Wolken said. “I cannot dream up something that works as much as I’d like to. We need to move forward.”
Supporters of the building, which is on the state and national historic registers as the last example of the type of building that once ringed the city’s waterfront, were devastated by the decision.
“The Collins Building has never gotten a fair hearing,” said David Mascarenas of Everett. “I thought with you two new guys, this beautiful old building would have a fair hearing.”
Mascarenas was referring to Wolken and Commissioner Troy McClelland, who both agreed to re-examine whether the building should be saved after they won election to the three-member commission last fall. Last year, the previous commission had agreed to demolish the building for the same reasons, saying state law generally prevents the port for doing things that don’t make a profit.