The nearly century-old YMCA brick building on Rockefeller Avenue in Everett may have a new purpose, but developers plan to demolish the big maroon add-on. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The nearly century-old YMCA brick building on Rockefeller Avenue in Everett may have a new purpose, but developers plan to demolish the big maroon add-on. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

More than 270 apartments could go on old Everett YMCA site

The nearly century-old YMCA building would stay, according to a proposal filed with city planners.

EVERETT — Jack O’Donnell remembers the strong smell of chlorine wafting off the pool in the old YMCA building.

He started to take swimming lessons there when he was 9.

“Any kid my age, and I’m 74, probably learned to swim there if you grew up in Everett,” he said.

The nearly century-old brick building may have a new purpose, but an add-on will be demolished.

Developers last week submitted pre-applications for construction at the site.

The plan is to knock down the big, nearly windowless maroon building that towers over Rockefeller Avenue. Apartments would go in its place and across the street in what’s now a parking lot.

The 1920 building would stay, and also be converted into living spaces. In all, there would be 274 units, city records show.

O’Donnell is involved with the Historic Everett preservation group, and wrote a column in The Daily Herald for almost 25 years called “Seems Like Yesterday.”

He’s lived in the city most of his life. Once swimming lessons were finished, he continued to visit the YMCA through high school.

Teen dances were held there every Friday night. He and neighborhood friends would ride bikes there from his home on Colby Avenue.

O’Donnell is happy the draft incorporates the old structure.

“It really is a building that touched my life, and I think it touched a lot of other kids’ lives in the same way,” he said. “There was just a little something all the way through that kept you going there.”

The Everett YMCA was first opened in 1901 on the corner of Rockefeller Avenue and California Street.

It burned down two decades later. It was still smoldering when people began to collect money to rebuild.

Within a month they raised about $183,000. Construction was finished the same year, said Scott Washburn, CEO of the YMCA of Snohomish County.

In 1960 a second gym, a swimming pool and locker rooms were added. Twenty years after that, more renovations provided a third gym, a new pool, sport courts and the reception area.

“None of these additions were connected by elevator, which makes it challenging for our members sometimes,” he said. “That was one of the motivations to look at a replacement.”

Work started last summer on the new $33.5 million YMCA south of 41st Street on Colby Avenue. It’s expected to open in early December, Washburn said. The branch may be closed for a couple of weeks during that time as the center moves.

The new YMCA south of 41st Street on Colby Avenue is expected to open in early December. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The new YMCA south of 41st Street on Colby Avenue is expected to open in early December. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The organization and prospective buyer have been under contract for about a year, Washburn said. If all goes as planned, he expects the sale to happen at the end of the year.

The contractor is Trent Development, Inc. The company is working with the architectural firm Clark Barnes. Both are based in Seattle.

Early plans say 51 apartments would go into the existing building from the 1920s. Another 54 units would be built in a five-story, 51,729-square-foot complex behind it, where the additions are now.

Another 169 units in a 10-story building are proposed across the street, where there’s now a parking lot. It would be 213,245 square feet, and include about 200 underground parking spots. Space on the ground floor appears to be reserved for commercial use.

Washburn believes downtown will continue to grow and become a place people want to visit. He started to see it when Funko moved in the next street over.

“It’s nice we can preserve the history of the Y on this block, but also be part of the resurgence of Everett,” he said.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter:@stephrdavey.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Everett Police Department was investigating a woman's death Sunday morning after a driver hit and killed her on Broadway in north Everett. (Everett Police Department)
Woman killed by suspected impaired driver in Everett

A driver reportedly hit the person, which prompted the closure of Broadway between 17th and 19th streets Sunday morning.

Charges: North Everett murder suspect caught on camera

Jeremiah Stringfellow, 27, is being held on first-degree murder charges for the fatal shooting of Naej Belledent, 22.

Police: Snohomish man fled to Oregon after Arlington shooting

The wounded man, 30, was left in critical condition. The suspect, 39, was arrested for investigation of first-degree assault.

A snow plow clears snow off of 92nd Avenue West on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Another dusting, with more snow on the way in Snohomish County?

Light snow showers hit the area Friday morning. Another system was coming in the evening. And yet another next week.

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run collision on Highway 99

Glenn Starks was walking on the shoulder south of Everett when a car struck him, police say. The car’s driver ran away from the scene.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
‘Set for the next four years’: Monroe schools levy officially passes

The levy funds 14% of the district’s budget including athletics, extracurricular activities and some transportation services.

The Washington State Patrol was investigating a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles Thursday on Highway 530 near Oso. (Washington State Patrol)
Darrington man identified in fatal 4-vehicle crash on Highway 530

Ryan Gray was driving east of Arlington when he rear-ended a Jeep, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Lisa Lefeber, CEO of the Port of Everett, speaks to a crowd while in front of a sign celebrating the opening of the new Norton Terminal on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Port of Everett christens new Norton cargo terminal

The $40 million terminal took two years to complete and doubles the port’s storage capacity.

Snow lingered outside the office building of Receivables Performance Management on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood data breach exposed sensitive info for 3.7 million across US

Lawsuits allege lax security at a debt collection agency led to the attack. It wasn’t announced for over a year.

Most Read