EVERETT — A former gas station and a couple of buildings over a century old are making way for over 200 new apartments and plenty of commercial space at a cornerstone intersection near downtown Everett.
Some of those units could be kept affordable for decades.
The former gas station and convenience store on the southwest corner of Pacific and Rucker avenues has been demolished. Underground fuel storage tanks are being removed.
Nearby commercial buildings built in 1910 and 1916 along Rucker have been leveled, the ground beneath dug up and made ready for utilities and foundation work.
Eventually the properties could host a few apartment buildings between three and seven stories high under a project proposed by Bellevue-based real estate company Devco. Over 300 parking stalls were proposed in the land use application.
Apartments and homes with rents at a price point where a household earning 120% of the area median income are desperately needed, according to a countywide report from 2020.
“There’s just a lack of housing, period, at any price point,” said Mark Smith, executive director of the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County. “It’s not possible to rent a one-bedroom apartment unless the household income is about $35 an hour.”
About one in nine families in Snohomish County were spending over half of their monthly income on housing and utilities, according to a 2018 report.
Population growth has outpaced housing construction in the county and region, which leads to higher costs to buy or rent a home, Smith said. At the same time, wages have stayed relatively flat, according to a CNBC report in 2022.
Devco sought the maximum building height allowed in exchange for the affordable units under Everett city code. The company also is building the apartments at the former Kmart site on Evergreen Way near Highway 526. That development also features several affordable housing units.
Ann and Roy Thorsen owned 11 of the 12 parcels involved in the Pacific and Rucker apartments development, according to county property records. The Thorsens were among the founders of the Community Foundation of Snohomish County, a philanthropic nonprofit based in Everett. Roy Thorsen died in 2007, and Ann Thorsen in 2018.
The Thorsen family’s LLC sold their Pacific and Rucker properties for $4.3 million to a Devco LLC, according to records.
Once built, it would continue the dramatic change of the Pacific and Rucker intersection after a former car lot became the 108-unit Potala Village with commercial space at the street level in 2011.