Yellow flags alerting construction crews to a gas line cover the grass next to buildings at Baker Heights proposed to be razed and rebuilt as a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Yellow flags alerting construction crews to a gas line cover the grass next to buildings at Baker Heights proposed to be razed and rebuilt as a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Baker Heights pitch: Mixed-income tenants, ‘transformation’ of Delta area

Units could be market rate on top floors of 12-story buildings at the Everett Housing Authority project, now pressing on to environmental review.

EVERETT — The Everett Housing Authority must complete an environmental impact statement for its proposed redevelopment of the long-vacant Baker Heights housing in north Everett.

The public housing built during World War II was shuttered in 2019 when it become too expensive to renovate. The housing authority has proposed replacing it with the Park District, a mixed-income, mixed-use campus with some buildings up to 12 stories and 1,500 housing units and 45,000 square feet of commercial space.

Everett government affairs director Jennifer Gregerson wasn’t surprised that the potential change to the property from single-story buildings required environmental review.

A schedule for the proposed project has the authority publishing a draft of its environmental impact statement by this fall for public comment and review. Public meetings are likely through the winter.

Redeveloping the property in the Delta neighborhood, which has some of the city’s lowest average household income, could bolster some of the amenities nearby on the 12-acre property.

“We’re really focused on the transformation of the Delta neighborhood,” Everett Housing Authority director of development Jason Morrow told The Daily Herald in January.

Zoning code changes are needed to allow commercial use and taller buildings. The authority applied for the city to cede some of the streets that currently run through the property. Those things are up to approval of a planned development overlay, development agreement, environmental impact statement and street vacation by the Everett City Council, planning commission and staff.

Agreements like that could give let the city require the housing authority to pay for other improvements in the area such as bike lanes and sidewalks, Everett planning director Yorik Stevens-Wajda told The Herald last year.

The project’s impact to nearby wetlands west of the property was a concern to the state Department of Ecology, according to a March report after a month-long scoping period. Ecology staff asked about stormwater runoff collection and treatment during construction and operation of the development.

Some comments worried about parking in the area and how the taller buildings and population density would fit in an area that mostly has single-family housing.

The housing authority is seeking parking standard changes from the city and hoping to design a campus that encourages biking, walking and using transit.

If the city allows civic and commercial use in the generally residential area, the housing authority could bring in a child care or early education center, library, cafe, stores and other amenities residents want, Morrow said.

Apartments and townhomes would have plenty of income-restricted units and some that are market rate. That helps ensure the project can be paid for and space can be maintained, as well as dispensing with outdated models of putting low-income residents in one place.

“We fundamentally believe that communities are healthier when there’s not just concentrated poverty,” former executive director Ashley Lommers-Johnson said in January.

For the proposed 12-story buildings, that could mean more expensive rents in the upper floors that would have expansive views of the Cascades and Possession Sound, Morrow said.

The Delta Neighborhood Association is set for an update on the design during its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Everett City Council was scheduled to hear an update on the proposal next Wednesday.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037;; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cat killed, 9 people displaced after duplex fire in Everett

None of the people were injured in the fire reported around 1:15 a.m. in the 11500 block of Meridian Avenue S.

Brian Henrichs, left, and Emily Howe, right, begin sifting out the bugs from their bug trap along Port Susan on Monday, May 22, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘A delta for the future’: Scientists try to save salmon at Stilly’s mouth

The Stillaguamish River’s south fork once supported 20,000 salmon. In 2019, fewer than 500 fish returned to spawn.

Mountlake Terrace Library, part of the Sno-Isle Libraries, in Mountlake Terrace, Washington on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Sno-Isle workers cite safety, unfilled positions in union push

Workers also pointed to inconsistent policies and a lack of a say in decision-making. Leadership says they’ve been listening.

A view over the Port of Everett Marina looking toward the southern Whidbey Island fault zone in March 2021. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County agencies to simulate major disaster

The scenario will practice the response to an earthquake or tsunami. Dozens of agencies will work with pilots.

Logo for news use featuring the Tulalip Indian Reservation in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Tulalip man sentenced to 4 years for carjacking

Michael J.D. Clark Jones received help from a woman after fleeing the police. He then assaulted her while stealing her car.

1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

Police stand along Linden Street next to orange cones marking pullet casings in a crime scene of a police involved shooting on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens man identified in Everett manhunt, deadly police shooting

Travis Hammons, 34, was killed by officers following a search for an armed wanted man in a north Everett neighborhood.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

Most Read