Comment: Speak up now on future of Baker Heights housing

Everett residents can complete a survey and show how they would redesign the property’s layout.

By Cydney Gillis / For The Herald

Big changes are coming to Everett’s Delta Neighborhood. We want to let the community know that the time to have a say on what these changes should look like is now.

In April, the Everett Housing Authority plans to start work on Phase 1 of redeveloping Baker Heights, the public housing it owns on 15 acres from 12th to 15th streets and Poplar to Fir. Phase 1 will replace some of the public housing south of 14th Street with 105 low-income units in four, 3- to 4-story buildings surrounding communal open space, a design that the community contributed to in three design meetings held last year.

Washington State University has expressed interest in buying a portion of the remaining site to expand its Everett campus. On Feb. 23, the housing authority held a community Zoom meeting and shared its plan to build 800 to 1,500 housing units on the site in three more phases. Jason Morrow, EHA’s development director, said the housing authority may also apply for funding from the federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which could incorporate portions of the surrounding neighborhood into the redevelopment.

The housing authority is currently working with architecture firm GGLO to develop a Baker Heights Master Plan. As part of this process, GGLO is asking for public feedback on the type and design of the buildings, open space, and amenities that the community wants to see at the New Baker Heights in two ways. One is an online “development game” software program that people can use to move around various buildings and amenities to design their own new Baker Heights (https://gglocharrette.netlify.app). There is also a Baker Heights Master Plan Preference Survey with questions about many kinds of design elements (www.surveymonkey.com/r/LP6VBSC).

March 12 is the deadline to use the online “development game” and to respond to the survey. GGLO will share initial thoughts on the master plan at a community Zoom meeting scheduled at 6 p.m. March 23. A final Zoom session with the community will follow one month later at 6 p.m. April 20. Both events can be joined at tinyurl.com/BakerEHAmeetings.

We urge you to use GGLO’s “development game” software, the Baker Heights survey, and EHA’s remaining two community Zoom meetings to express your thoughts. Again, the time is now.

Cydney Gillis is a member of the Delta Neighborhood Association Steering Committee.

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