Everett discusses idea of events center

By KATE REARDON

Herald Writer

EVERETT — The city could score big with ice hockey fans, but the new project could chill plans a local service group has to better provide clothes to needy kids.

City leaders are looking at five downtown sites as the possible location for a special events center that could feature circuses, trade shows, performers and a minor league hockey team.

It could be a great feature for downtown, city administrator Don Hale said.

"What we’re hoping is that it’s a good linkage between Everett Station and downtown," he said. "It should spur quite a bit of activity."

A portion of one of the sites under consideration, a city block at Hewitt and Lombard avenues, has been the planned home of The Assistance League of Everett’s Operation School Bell. The group began raising money about a year ago to construct a building at that site.

The city recently contacted some of the group’s members to inform them of the city’s interest in the property.

"The reason we mentioned this possible location to the Assistance League (is that) we wanted to let them know so they weren’t misled," Hale said. "In our opinion, it’s a very desirable location."

Assistance League representatives could not be reached for comment.

Locations of the four other possible sites were not released.

Hale said, however, that each location is within blocks of the city’s new transportation center under construction along Pacific Avenue. Hale said an anchor tenant for the $40 million to $50 million center would be critical.

"We think ice hockey would be a natural," Hale said, adding that the Western Hockey League has other teams in the area such as the Seattle Thunderbirds. About 40 out of 140 or so events a year would be that of an anchor tenant, Hale said.

Other sporting venues such as minor league basketball could also find a home there.

"We’ve had a lot of interest expressed to us," Hale said.

The city has already looked at ways to pay for a special events center. The city would likely use a tiny percentage of state sales tax money that would be refunded to the city for some of the funding.

The 1999 state Legislature approved the funding mechanism, which requires a public facilities district to be established. Hale said he estimates the city could collect up to $20 million over 25 years from that tax.

The results of a study that shows the feasibility of such a center could be presented to council within the next month or two, Hale said. If the idea gets city council approval, construction would begin by January 2003.

Only one of the possible sites includes some city-owned property, Hale said. Property owners of some of the sites have not yet been contacted regarding the city’s interest.

If city leaders identify a site and move ahead to build a facility, they would negotiate deals for the selected property. Even though the city has the right of imminent domain — the ability to condemn private property for public use — Hale said that’s not a likely option.

The feasibility study will show how much a center would cost, identify possible locations, ideas on how the city could pay for a center and list what kind of events would make money.

Everett isn’t the only city working on a special events center. In Vancouver, Wash., the city is planning an $80 million convention and events center.

Vancouver is lining up several sporting groups, including a West Coast Hockey League team, minor league basketball, World Team Tennis and indoor soccer, said Steve Burdick, Vancouver’s manager of economic development services.

Vancouver teamed with private interests to build the facility, which should be complete by 2003.

The convention center portion there will even be named after hamburger magnet George Propstra, founder of the Burgerville fast-food restaurants. He donated $2.5 million for the naming rights.

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.

A photo of "Tazz," an Argentine white Tegu still missing near Granite Falls. (Provided photo)
Tazz the missing tegu reunited with owner in Granite Falls

The 4-foot lizard went missing Friday evening. Searchers located him in a barn, 1 mile away from his home.

A closing sign hangs above the entrance of the Big Lots at Evergreen and Madison on Monday, July 22, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Big Lots announces it will shutter Everett and Lynnwood stores

The Marysville store will remain open for now. The retailer reported declining sales in the first quarter of the year.

President Joe Biden speaks at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, N.C., on April 14, 2022. Biden plans to nominate Michael Barr  to be the Federal Reserve's vice chairman of supervision. The selection of Barr comes after Biden's first choice for the Fed post, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew her nomination a month ago (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Washington Democrats voice support for Biden’s decision to drop out of presidential race

Some quickly endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris to replace him on the ballot.

Everett
Teenager in stable condition after Everett drive-by shooting Saturday

Major Crime Unit detectives were looking for two suspects believed to have shot the teenager in the 600 block of 124th Street SW.

Miners Complex tops 500 acres in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Nine lightning-caused fires force trail closures and warnings 21 miles east of Darrington. No homes are threatened.

FILE — President Joe Biden arrives for a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, July 3, 2024. Biden abandoned his campaign for a second term under intense pressure from fellow Democrats on Sunday, July 21, upending the race for the White House in a dramatic last-minute bid to find a new candidate who can stop former President Donald Trump from returning to the White House. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Biden drops out of race, endorses vice president Kamala Harris

The president announced the decision on social media Sunday.

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.