EVERETT —In late spring, work is set to begin on 203 units of affordable housing in northeast Everett. The project has some neighbors worried the area can’t handle such a large influx of new residents.
DevCo, Inc., a Bellevue-based developer, plans to construct a nine-building complex on the 1600 block of East Marine View Drive in the Delta neighborhood. The 6.24-acre site is adjacent to Senator Henry M. Jackson Park.
The Riverview Apartments will be set aside for households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income, which in 2018 was $64,200 for a family of four. The homes will range in size from one to five bedrooms. The tallest building will be five stories.
The project would add much needed affordable housing to the area. A recent report by the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County found that 50,000 affordable units would make up for the current shortage.
The project has faced criticism from the surrounding neighborhood over the scale of the complex, which some say would increase traffic congestion and block mountain views, according to comments submitted to the city. Many also took issue with the low-income and supportive-housing aspects of the project.
Original plans called for 45 of the roughly 200 apartments to be supportive housing. This generally includes on-site social services and case management for tenants.
DevCo withdrew its application for the supportive units after the city determined the project would not qualify because the nearest bus stop was too far away.
The largest concern about the project was over the supportive housing, according to David Ratliff, vice president of DevCo.
“It was a good thing to appease the Delta Neighborhood and drop that part of the project,” he said.
Services will still be provided to about 45 households on-site, Ratliff said, but there is no longer a need to have a formal relationship with the city of Everett regarding the specialty units.
These types of projects, along with low-income buildings, allow for developers to build less parking.
“They were using the supportive housing to lessen the amount of parking required for the project,” said Molly Deardorff, a leader in the Delta Neighborhood Association.
The biggest complaints from the neighborhood are over parking and the integration of the project into the area, she said. It is an area with few amenities, such as quick access to a grocery store and limited transit.
In 2018, city council approved policies that reduced the number of off-street parking stalls required for affordable housing projects. If the complex proposed for the Delta Neighborhood wasn’t adding low-income housing to the city, the developer would have to provide 344 spaces. With the affordable housing reduction, DevCo will have to build at a minimum about 244 off-street stalls.
Deardorff worries that won’t be enough.
Parked cars are going to overflow onto side streets and Jackson Park, she said.
The parking ratio is appropriate for the project, Ratliff of DevCo said. The company has completed projects around the region including Axis in the Lake Stickney area and Gateway located near Henry M. Jackson High School.
“It’s not going to integrate into the neighborhood,” Deardorff said about the scale of the project.
Jackson Park is mostly lined with single-family houses, with a handful of two- to three-story apartment buildings mixed in.
The complex is expected to open in mid-2020.
Amenities planned for the complex include a dog park, an outdoor swimming pool, a playground, bicycle storage and fitness center, according to documents filed with the city. A coffee hut and fencing construction company, which recently relocated, currently sits on the property.
Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @lizzgior.