Marysville tax break aims to boost waterfront development

The proposal, to encourage residential development, would only be for the downtown core.

By Steve Powell / The Marysville Globe

MARYSVILLE — The City Council voted last week to give residential developers a tax break for building downtown near the waterfront.

Councilman Jeff Vaughan was the lone dissenting vote.

Vaughan said that he understands giving tax incentives to businesses to encourage them to locate in the Manufacturing Industrial Center, for example, because that spurs economic growth. But he doesn’t get why the city would provide a similar incentive for residential development on the waterfront.

Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima explained that because of zoning, there wouldn’t be stand-alone apartments there. There would need to be a business involved, such as on the bottom floor with condos above.

She said there is such a strong demand for housing that a mixed-use project could kickstart development of the waterfront. It also provides a stable income for investors.

Hirashima assured the council that the tax breaks would only be for the downtown core, even though there has been interest in similar breaks in the Lakewood area, for example.

“Downtown needs that extra help,” she said, adding that Lynnwood and Everett have had success with similar provisions. Hirashima said with design standards in place, downtown will be a point of pride.

“The city will be very involved in the waterfront. We own it,” she said.

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