Snohomish City Hall on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Snohomish City Hall on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Snohomish may sell off old City Hall, water treatment plant, more

That’s because, as soon as 2027, Snohomish City Hall and the police and public works departments could move to a brand-new campus.

SNOHOMISH — As soon as 2027, Snohomish City Hall and the police and public works departments could move to a brand-new campus at Pine Avenue and Third Street.

That will leave the land where those buildings currently sit open for new uses, like senior housing and a park.

Snohomish officials are also looking into selling or repurposing several other city-owned properties in the coming years, including almost 29 acres a few miles south of Granite Falls once used for the city’s water treatment plant.

City of Snohomish Public Works on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

City of Snohomish Public Works on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The two properties used for the former plant are “at the top of the list” to be sold because they’re no longer in use and are a liability for the city, with concerns about dumping, squatting and vandalism, City Administrator Heather Thomas told the City Council earlier this month. The parcels are worth about $1 million combined.

City Council member Lea Anne Burke noted the former plant’s location, along Menzel Lake Road and the Pilchuck River, has the potential for conservation benefits.

Thomas said city staff plan to approach nearby tribes and the county Conservation Futures program to see if they are interested in the land.

The City Hall building at 116 Union Ave., formerly a post office, “continues to have issues,” she said, including a heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit in need of repair and a lack of elevators.

Thomas recommended the city sell the property valued between $1.9 million and $2.2 million.

Council member David Flynn favored repurposing the building instead of selling it, suggesting it could house a museum or something else “beneficial to the community.” The city already partners with the Snohomish Senior Center and Boys & Girls Club, he pointed out.

Council member Karen Guzak, however, expressed doubts a nonprofit organization would be able to carry out the city’s vision.

“We all want to hold onto it in a way,” Guzak added, “but we also might need to let it go.”

The city’s police department, meanwhile, is a “prime location for senior housing,” Thomas said. The 6,874-square-foot building at 230 Maple Ave. used to be a bank before the city bought it in the 1990s. The property is valued at $1.3 to $1.5 million.

When the police station moves to the new campus, the city could partner with an organization to develop senior housing there, Thomas said.

Snohomish Police Station on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Snohomish Police Station on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

City staff recommend eventually selling off the engineering building at 112 Union Ave., valued at $500,000 to $600,000, Thomas said.

Engineering, a division of the public works department, would move to the new civic campus.

Meanwhile, the city could maintain the public works department site at 1801 First St., converting it into a park, Thomas said. The Snohomish Farmers Market could use the site, worth $1.5 to $1.7 million, she suggested. Part of the site could also be repurposed for public parking.

The city could potentially also use the property to store equipment it can’t fit at the new civic campus, Thomas said.

An undeveloped nearly 13-acre property at 123rd Avenue SE and Three Lakes Road, known as “the Pit,” could also serve as a storage site.

An undeveloped property known as “the Pit” off of 123rd Avenue Southeast & Three Lakes Road on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

An undeveloped property known as “the Pit” off of 123rd Avenue Southeast & Three Lakes Road on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

City staff are also looking into selling the site of the former Visitor’s Information Center at 1301 First St. An olive oil store called A Bit of Taste is currently in the first year of a five-year lease with the city there, Thomas said.

Officials would first offer the store’s owner the option to buy the property. The city could also make the sale conditional on maintaining the olive oil store’s lease, she said.

The city “absolutely must” honor the lease, Guzak said, “whether we sell it or not.”

The building, worth between $550,000 and $650,000, could go on the market in early 2025.

A Bit of Taste Olive Oil on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A Bit of Taste Olive Oil on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Construction of the new civic campus is expected to begin in 2026.

Snohomish residents can expect to hear an update on the properties at a council meeting in late summer or early fall, Thomas said in an interview, after the city hires a real estate consultant to assist with the sales.

Sophia Gates: 425-339-3035; sophia.gates@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @SophiaSGates.

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