Owners fighting forced sale drop effort

By Theresa Goffredo

Herald Writer

EVERETT — The property owners didn’t want to move, but it takes more than wants and desires in court. It takes legal arguments.

And that’s something the property owners didn’t have.

So on Monday, the seven downtown property owners whose buildings are in the way of a $50 million hockey arena and special events center gave up their legal fight against the city of Everett, which sued the owners to condemn the buildings and tear them down for public use.

Walter S. Tabler, of the Seattle law firm Graham &Dunne and hired by the city as lead counsel in this litigation, wasn’t too surprised at Monday’s turn of events, saying the city had an obvious public-use case.

"There’s a steady diet of them in all counties," Tabler said.

Though the property owners decided not to fight the city, not all have settled on a dollar figure. Historically, most condemnation cases settle before going to trial, but Tabler said some property owners might feel they could get a better price by going before a jury.

One such property owner might be Carlin McKinley.

McKinley owns buildings at 2016 Hewitt Ave. and 2904 and 2902 Broadway. She expressed frustration after court Monday about the amount the city has offered for her properties.

"The person who owns the most property should get the most money, and that’s not happening," McKinley said.

All totaled, there are 16 property owners whose buildings make up the two-block downtown area at Hewitt Avenue and Broadway where the city wants to build the arena, which will hold 8,000 for hockey and 10,000 for concerts and shows.

Five of those property owners sold their parcels, but the city had to sue the remaining 11 who had refused to sell. As of Monday, no property owner wanted to continue the fight.

"Everybody folded, and I didn’t want to fight alone," McKinley said.

So far, the city has released only a few settlement figures. The Assistance League sold its building that fronts Hewitt and Lombard for $865,000. Steven Snider, home to Timeless Antiques, sold his for $700,000. Craig Dieffenbach sold the Cosmo Theater for $825,000.

Owners of the Ancient Scottish Rite building at the corner of Oakes Avenue and Wall Street have been given figures in the range of $800,000 to more than

$1 million but those discussions are ongoing, said the Rite’s attorney, Thomas D. Adams.

Still, the Scottish Rite members are going unwillingly, but Adams said there didn’t appear to be a legal leg for them to stand on to successfully fight the city’s public-use case.

"We decided not to oppose because of our conversations all of the lawyers in the case had in private where we tried to find some common theme that might be available as an argument, but we couldn’t find one," Adams said.

And the 504 members of the fraternal organization haven’t been able to find a new place to move that would come near what their 14,000-square foot brick building has provided since 1923.

The organization raises money for scholarships and to help fight childhood language disorders.

"The new city founders don’t understand their history," member Jerry Kunkle said.

"We don’t want to leave our building," he said. "But if they force us out, we’ll go wherever we can find even though we don’t want to leave our community."

You can call Herald Writer Theresa Goffredo at 425-339-3097 or send e-mail to goffredo@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

Cars drive through snow along I-5 in Snohomish County, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
In March, 7 p.m. sunsets are back for Western Washington

Washingtonians will finally start seeing more sun starting March 10. But a little more winter could be on the way first.

One of the parking lots at Stevens Pass Thursday afternoon on December 30, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Stevens Pass to charge $20 for parking reservations on busy days

Two-thirds of spaces will remain free for early arrivers on weekends. Cars with four or more occupants can also park free.

Lynnwood
Days after shootout with Lynnwood police, suspect checks into hospital

Police learned the 18-year-old was in a hospital in Portland, Oregon. His alleged role in the shooting remained unclear.

Everett
Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Patrick Kunz speaks during his sentencing on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett gymnastics coach who spied on students sentenced to 6 months

Patrick Kunz, 47, pleaded guilty to charges of voyuerism and possession of child pornography last month.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Everett transgender mechanic alleges Boeing treated her ‘like a zoo animal’

For years, Boeing allowed toxicity “to fester and grow” at its Everett factory, according to Rachel Rasmussen, an employee from 1989 to 2024.

Everett police officers survey the scene of a shooting along East Casino Road on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Washington’s 5th police academy could be in Snohomish County

A new academy in Northwest Washington would help clear a lengthy wait list for new police hires to get training.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
Monroe High School teacher accused of sexual misconduct, put on leave

Few details were not available Thursday afternoon. Police were seeking information from the public.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.