The DNR originally looked to swap 27 acres of trust land in Kitsap County for a smaller privately owned parcel in Arlington on which a Bartell Drugs operates. It dropped that plan in favor of buying the commercially zoned property outright. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

The DNR originally looked to swap 27 acres of trust land in Kitsap County for a smaller privately owned parcel in Arlington on which a Bartell Drugs operates. It dropped that plan in favor of buying the commercially zoned property outright. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

An Arlington Bartell Drugs will help build public schools

The 1.5-acre lot will bring in $483,000 annually for a statewide fund used to build public schools.

ARLINGTON — The state Department of Natural Resources usually deals in trees and timber, but this month it moved to purchase a new asset — a Bartell Drugs in Arlington.

The department board agreed to buy the 1.5-acre lot and building at 7423 204th St. NE for $9 million Dec 3. Once the transaction is completed, the agency will garner a new stream of money for a statewide fund used to build public schools.

The state will manage the lease with Bartell, which is projected to bring in $483,000 annually for the Common School Trust.

More than 13 years remain on the current lease. The company can renew every five years for up to an additional 25 years.

The purchase is a pivot from a September plan to swap 27 acres of trust land in Kitsap County for the Arlington parcel.

“Land transactions like the proposed exchange can be incredibly complex,” trust spokesperson Kenny Ocker said. “The timing … wasn’t going to work out right.”

Instead, the department hung on to the forested acreage abutting Highway 303 near the Kitsap Mall and bought the Arlington land outright.

Brian Sims, a spokesperson for the Washington State School Directors Association, sees the move as adding a stable cash flow with low risk.

“It is, I believe, a smart acquisition,” he said at the Dec. 3 state Board of Natural Resources meeting. “It improves revenue.”

This purchase is part of a larger department push to diversify its holdings beyond timber. The state agency will now manage 27 such ground leases where it owns and leases the underlying land.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said Snohomish County is an ideal location for the investment.

“Snohomish County is one of the fastest-growing counties actually in the nation,” she said. “This puts us squarely in that community in the urban growth area.”

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439;

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Alyvia Nguyen, 8, climbs on leaf shaped steps at the new Corcoran Memorial Park playground on Friday, July 12, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Bothell-area park ‘could not be a more fitting dedication’

In 2019, Jim Corcoran donated $1.5 million worth of land to become a public park. He died before he could see it completed.

Cars line up for the Edmonds ferry in Edmonds, Washington on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ferry line jumpers face a $145 fine — and scorn from other drivers

Law enforcement is on the lookout for line cutters. It’s a “hot-button issue that can lead to something worse.”

Mother charged in Stanwood toddler’s fentanyl overdose death

Morgan Bassett woke up in January 2022 and found her daughter wasn’t breathing. Last week, she was charged with manslaughter.

FILE — Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) arrives to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 23, 2024. Former President Donald Trump has chosen Vance to be his running mate, wagering that the young senator will bring fresh energy to the Republican ticket and ensure that the movement Trump began nearly a decade ago can live on after him. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times)
J.D. Vance is Trump’s pick for vice president

Vance, once a Trump critic, is an ambitious ideologue who relishes the spotlight. His selection comes just days after Trump survived an assassination attempt.

Former president Donald Trump is seen with a bloody ear as he is assisted off the stage during a campaign rally in Butler, Pa., on Saturday. MUST CREDIT: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting

Isaac Arnsdorf, Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post BUTLER, Pa. - The… Continue reading

Biden, Democrats, Republicans denounce shooting at Trump rally

Reaction pours in from government leaders

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.