An illustration depicts the proposed Fisherman’s Harbor multifamily community in the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place development. (Tiscareno Associates)

An illustration depicts the proposed Fisherman’s Harbor multifamily community in the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place development. (Tiscareno Associates)

Port of Everett picks developer for waterfront apartments

EVERETT — The Port of Everett has selected a Mercer Island development firm to build two apartment buildings along the city’s waterfront.

American Classic Homes agreed to pay $7 million to purchase 5.44 acres in Fisherman’s Harbor District, the first part of a planned makeover of Everett’s central waterfront area.

The company is expected to start construction next year on the buildings with 254 apartments, said John Shaw, director of multi-family acquisitions at American Classic Homes. His firm plans to keep and run the apartments rather than sell them.

“We view this as a legacy project,” Shaw said. “We’re long-term focused. We love the Everett market. Now that we get a chance to be up there, it’s very exciting for us.”

Each building will match existing height restrictions and will either be three or four stories or between 35 to 45 feet high. The apartments will range in size from 550 to 1,300 square feet. The apartments are expected to open in mid- to late 2019.

When he walked the site with port officials, Shaw said he found his company and the port had matching visions for the master planned community.

The port spoke with dozens of developers before inviting three to submit proposals, said Terrie Battuello, chief of business development for the Port of Everett.

Battuello agreed that the port and American Classic Homes aligned early on, especially with the idea that the apartment buildings would help tell the story of the waterfront through design.

One of the buildings will be designed with features that celebrate the waterfront’s history as a timber mill town. The other will embrace the city’s maritime roots.

The development firm also saw the unique value of the master planned community, Battuello said. The land has been in industrial use for a century and is just now being turned into a residential and commercial space. It’s close to the jetty and to downtown.

It has can’t-be-beat views of the mountains and the water, she said.

“There’s not many places that you can live that will have all of those things,” Battuello said.

In all, the Port of Everett wants to remake 65 acres along the waterfront into a place where people can live, play and work.

This Fisherman’s Harbor District is on 12 acres just west of West Marine View Drive. In addition to the apartment buildings, the port hopes a 140-room hotel, five commercial buildings and several shops and restaurants will be built in the area.

Also planned are a continuous public trail, a dock walk for people to get to the water and a Pacific Rim Plaza, including several water fountains.

Interwest Construction and Bergerson Construction are building new roadways — Seiner Drive and 14th Street — the trail and the plaza. The firms were paid $12 million for the infrastructure work.

American Classic Homes, which started in 1999, has built hundreds of single-family homes and has constructed or has in the works about 800 apartments in the Puget Sound area.

The work on the waterfront is the second major housing project under way near downtown Everett. Polygon Northwest has already built the first of 425 homes in the Riverfront project, planned along the Snohomish River.

The first homeowners are expected to move in this month.

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