Patty’s Eggnest & Turkey House at 4th and 128th sits on property acquired by Sno-Isle Libraries as part of the Mariner Community Campus project, pictured on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Patty’s Eggnest & Turkey House at 4th and 128th sits on property acquired by Sno-Isle Libraries as part of the Mariner Community Campus project, pictured on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Coming soon: A Sno-Isle library on the ground floor, with housing above

Until 2017, the Mariner neighborhood only had a bookmobile. Now, a $4.5 million purchase is a big step toward a library-centered campus south of Everett.

EVERETT — After two years of searching, Sno-Isle Libraries finally has a property for the Mariner Community Campus, a project that will build housing on top of a new library.

The $4.5 million purchase is a big step forward for the plan, in the works since 2017.

Construction on the 0.8-acre property at 303 128th St. SW is slated to begin in 2026. The building south of Everett is currently the location of the breakfast chain Patty’s Eggnest, and it’s walking distance from the proposed sites for the Mariner light rail station.

Originally imagined as a shared space for the library and other resources, the idea has since expanded to include housing through a partnership with the Everett Housing Authority. The vision still includes service providers operating out of the building, with the possibility for mixed-income apartments — though the specifics still need to be hammered out.

The campus was a “very big dream” when Lois Langer Thompson started out as Sno-Isle’s executive director in late 2018, she said Wednesday. She appreciates locals and partner groups “holding this dream with us,” she said.

Now, the real planning can begin.

The library system will develop the property together with the Everett Housing Authority.

Jason Morrow, the housing authority’s chief real estate officer, said in an interview the organization is “extremely excited to be working with Sno-Isle.”

Sno-Isle Libraries has financed the property purchase, with the help of a $4 million grant from the state.

Langer Thompson said staff are still looking at funding options for the rest of the development, noting Sno-Isle has reserves for capital projects.

Partner organizations include United Way of Snohomish County, Volunteers of America Western Washington and the University of Washington Bothell.

Next on the agenda is a “property feasibility study,” according to a news release, as well as “community input.”

Locals can offer their thoughts and ideas for the project through community meetings, Langer Thompson said.

Morrow stressed the campus is still in an early stage, but he hopes to have a basic design concept by the end of the year.

The new property will someday replace the current Mariner Library at 520 128th St. SW, Suite A9-10. That location was never meant to be permanent, Langer Thompson said. Sno-Isle intended the library to “get library services started and demonstrate the need,” she said. Before it opened in 2017, the neighborhood only had a bookmobile.

“It’s a small space,” Langer Thompson said of the 3,850-square-foot library. “And that staff uses every inch of it really, really well and the community uses the space really well. But … they need space to grow.”

State Sen. Marko Liias, who helped Sno-Isle come up with the idea for the campus and get funding, wrote in an email statement he is “honored to support this legacy community project.”

“The Mariner neighborhood is a special place, and the Mariner Library is the heart of the community,” he wrote. “The community came together to lead a process to identify community needs and Sno-Isle Libraries and Everett Housing Authority are making it happen.”

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, another supporter of the proposal, wrote in an email it “is an exciting project that will support the quality of life and community connections in the Mariner neighborhood.”

“This project will build on the expansion of Sound Transit to the area,” he wrote, “which will greatly enhance opportunities for Mariner residents to recreate, connect, and access vital resources like affordable housing and good-paying jobs.”

The county may help fund the project if its leaders apply for county affordable housing grants, which they haven’t yet, wrote Kelsey Nyland, a spokesperson for the executive’s office, in an email.

The county planning department “would be the lead permitting agency on this project,” she wrote, as the land is unincorporated.

Langer Thompson, who is retiring this summer, pointed out the project began before she started at Sno-Isle.

“This really cements that work that began before me and will carry on after I leave,” she said.

Sophia Gates: 425-339-3035; sophia.gates@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @SophiaSGates.

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