MUKILTEO — For years, the lot across from Ivar’s was a holding block for cars waiting for the ferry.
Now, the lot spells freedom to frolic at the Mukilteo waterfront for as long as you desire.
A parking lot with 99 spaces is set to open Friday, just in time for the end of summer.
But, hey, it’s a start.
Access to the waterfront is what it’s all about.
The Front Street parking lot, operated by the Port of Everett, will have daily, overnight and monthly parking options. The rates will be comparable to parking at Lighthouse Park and other nearby spots run by the city of Mukilteo, port spokesperson Catherine Soper said, with fees evaluated and tweaked based on use and demand.
The port’s lot is subject to Mukilteo’s 25% parking tax and a 10% sales tax in addition to the flat rate, Soper said.
Mukilteo’s role in the new parking lot?
“We allow it and collect the tax,” Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine said. “We are glad the Council moved forward and supported that ordinance to allow parking. We definitely need it.”
The city approved the parking lot on a temporary, not permanent, basis.
This is the second summer the lot remained fenced and empty since the new terminal opened in December 2020. The surface was recently sealcoated and striped for its new purpose, and prettied up with landscaping boxes.
The Port of Everett is buying the property for $3.5 million from Mukilteo Landing LLC, which leased the property to Washington State Ferries for the lanes at the old terminal.
“Mukilteo Landing LLC is pleased that the Port of Everett had the vision to incorporate the property as a significant and strategic piece of the developing Mukilteo Waterfront Plan,” Patrick McCourt of Mukilteo Landing LLC wrote in a news release.
Earlier this summer, the port in a partnership with Ivar’s developed the parklet on the water side of Front Street. The parklet quickly became a popular gathering place with a scenic overlook as well as tables for the public and for Ivar’s diners.
The 26 acres for redevelopment on the Mukilteo waterfront stretches from Lighthouse Park to Edgewater Beach and has 11 different landowners. A comprehensive plan, with community input, is in the early stages.
The interim parking lot is a baby step.
“This is the first little piece,” Marine said.