MARYSVILLE — Some locals remember when the city had two water towers — one that still stands today in Comeford Park, and another that was torn down in the mid-1980s to make way for the Marysville Town Center.
Since then, businesses have moved in and out of the strip mall at the intersection of State Avenue and Fourth Street.
Maybe you remember visiting The Children’s Co., or Lamonts, or one of the most recent casualties, Craft Mart. Albertsons and J.C. Penney have been constants through the years.
All these shops have been surrounded by a giant slab of concrete, saved for parking that goes mostly unused these days.
Now folks have a chance to tell the city what they would like to see in that space and others around Marysville’s downtown.
In November, the city received a $125,000 grant from the state to help create a more lively core. With that money the city hired a contractor, Makers Architecture and Urban Design. That company has launched a new interactive online map where people can share what they would like to see in certain parts of the city.
With that input the city hopes to update the downtown master plan, last revised in 2009. One of the grant requirements is to adopt the plan by the end of March 2021, city planning manager Chris Holland said.
“We have a lot of work to do between now and then,” he said. “We’re grinding along.”
While the map is a fun way to share ideas, it also is a way to communicate with city leaders during the pandemic. Traditionally the city would host neighborhood meetings and other gatherings, Holland said. But that’s not possible now.
City leaders hope to see more housing, businesses, parks and walkable places downtown in the coming years. Holland mentioned the idea of building student housing for those who attend Everett Community College, less than five miles from downtown on the other side of Highway 529.
Mayor Jon Nehring included a letter when the city applied for the grant last year.
“Transforming downtown Marysville into a sustainable urban center has been a vision of our community for many years,” he wrote. “… In preparation for future growth in our community and to fully realize the vision for downtown Marysville, the City is proposing to reimagine the (downtown master plan) as a vibrant, denser urban center supported on its edges by a wide array of middle housing.”
“Middle housing” includes affordable housing options such as multiplexes, townhomes and smaller apartment buildings. About 67,820 people live in Marysville. That number is expected to reach 88,630 by 2035, according to the city.
People can use the interactive map to learn more about construction projects, such as the civic center and the First Street Bypass. The city also has placed surveys there with questions about areas like Asberry Field and the Marysville Town Center.
Comments or photos can be left anywhere on the map, available at makers.mysocialpinpoint.com/marysville-downtown-master-plan.
Meet with the mayor
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is hosting a virtual Coffee Klatch on Facebook, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday. He can answer questions about city programs and projects.
Find the city’s page at www.facebook.com/MarysvilleWashington. Questions may be submitted there beforehand.