EVERETT — More than 400 apartments are replacing a former Kmart on Evergreen Way. The new complex, slated for completion in 2023, is income-restricted and meant for workers earning about half of the area’s average wage.
“It’s a great opportunity to take a vacant, big-box store and convert it into a better use,” said DevCo, Inc. President David Ratliff, who runs the Bellevue-based real estate investment company building the complex.
Heartland Construction began building the 430-unit complex last month at 8102 Evergreen Way in Everett, near Highway 526 aka Boeing Freeway. The incoming complex, called Four Corners Apartments, is near Cascade High School and Evergreen Middle School. The first tenants can begin moving into the apartments in 18 months, Ratliff said.
The Four Corners Apartments will include five apartment buildings with six stories, a community garden, play areas, a dog run and a pool. One of the buildings is 73 feet tall, but the rest are just under 70 feet. Apartments range from one to five bedrooms. Everett’s economic development director, Dan Eernissee, said he expects the new apartments to have more families than a typical complex.
“It’s going to attract a lot more families who are going to have school-aged children,” Eernissee said. “We coordinated a meeting with the school district to talk about those impacts.”
The apartments are income-restricted and only available for people who earn less than 80% of the area median income in Snohomish County. Ratliff said the apartments are available on a “first come, first served” basis for qualified tenants, but the entire complex must average 60% of the area’s median income.
The income limits, calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, vary by the size of a family. For example, a single renter who earns less than $63,350 in Snohomish County meets the income restrictions for the new complex. The income limit for a four-person household is $90,500.
“DevCo builds an affordable product, but it’s really for the workforce,” Eernissee said.
DevCo, Inc. purchased the property for $18 million in 2020. Ratliff said the city has already issued all of the civil and building permits for the project. Demolition of the old Kmart building began in early summer and construction on the apartments began in August.
DevCo may build another apartment complex on the roughly 10-acre property, Ratliff said, but those plans are contingent on Sound Transit developing a light rail station in the immediate vicinity. DevCo’s plan for a second phase, if there is one, are about 15 years down the line. The second complex would cover the southern part of the property, replacing a parking lot and an existing dialysis center.
In the meantime, Eernissee said, the new complex is still in a convenient location for people who use public transportation or walk.
“This has great transit service, with the Swift Line as well as local bus lines,” Eernissee said. “It has lots of jobs in the area, you can walk to schools and you can walk to grocery stores and shopping. It’s just got tons of amenities.”
Katie Hayes: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @misskatiehayes.
Katie Hayes is a Report for America corps member and writes about issues that affect the working class for The Daily Herald.