In May 1998, the business journal’s cover story was on “Money to Burn,” with Mike Hansen, chief executive officer of Everett Mutual. A few years ago, the longtime community bank, headquartered in Everett Mutual Tower on Colby Avenue, was sold to KeyBank.
Today, there are even more banks in Snohomish County, with even more money to lend. But the past decade of economic growth here has been tempered in recent months by the collapse of the national housing industry’s subprime loan markets. The impact of billions of dollars in mortgage loans financing losses has been felt in almost every community across the country, affecting not only bankers but also developers, builders and real estate brokers.
In 1996 to 1998, according to the May 1998 issue’s banking article, there were a number of mergers and expansions. Cascade Bank, originally a savings and loan association, moved into commercial banking with the purchase of American First National Bank, creating a company with more than $400 million in assets.
Commercial Bank opened as an affiliate of Everett Mutual, The Bank of Edmonds (now The Bank of Washington) began turning a profit after 18 months in business, and Coastal Community Bank opened on Everett’s Colby Avenue, growing its assets to $20 million by May 1998.
Elsewhere in the pages of our second issue were these economic highlights of the month:
JanSport moves sewing jobs overseas
JanSport in Everett, the leading manufacturer of the backpack industry, announced it would move its 84-employee sewing division overseas to save costs, mimicking the decisions by a growing number of local as well as national firms. It did not announce where the jobs would go to, but a year earlier JanSport closed its Burlington plant to move work to Mexico and Honduras and announced it would close its Wenatchee plant with 140 jobs. It retained its distribution center in Everett, which has now moved into a new building in southwest Everett’s Seaway Center industrial park.
Canyon Creek Cabinets moves to Monroe
Cramped by a lack of space in three buildings in Maltby, the fast-growing Canyon Creek Cabinet Co. moved its 350-employee business into a 190,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing building in Monroe’s Frylands Industrial Park.
Two years earlier, the company had annual revenue of $15 million. By the time it was able to move to the new building, the company was generating more than $30 million in revenue a year.
Shannon Ambulance Service gets new quarters and name
Bud’s Kopp’s United Medical Services and Shannon Ambulance Service businesses moved into new offices in Mountlake Terrace and changed their name to Rural/Metro Shannon Ambulance, reflecting a recent merger with Rural/Metro Corp. of Scottsdale, Ariz. The company served Snohomish, King and Pierce counties.
Construction Associates of Lynnwood doubles business
Eric Tessem, owner of Construction Associates, announced his firm had more than doubled its business in five years, reaching $40 million a year in annual revenues.
With 100 employees, Tessem’s commercial construction projects included Anthony Home Port restaurants, the OfficeMax near the Everett Mall, The Villages at Harbour Pointe in Mukilteo and the Thomas Lake shopping center in Mill Creek.
Everett Chamber to focus on economic development
Dick Bennett, president and chief executive officer of the Everett Area Chamber of Commerce, said membership priorities for the coming year would concentrate on economic development, adding new members to the chamber, education issues and infrastructure needs in the community. Also, a new training program, Leadership Snohomish County, was to begin by fall to develop new community leaders, in conjunction with United Way and the South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce.
KRKO expands with move to Everett Mutual Tower
Owner Andy Skotdal announced KRKO radio would be moving its radio studios into 2,400 square feet of space on the 13th floor of Everett Mutual Tower in the downtown business district. The new space was double the previous room, and having the studio on the top floor provided traffic reporting views of I-5 and the Highway 2 trestle.
Many high school grads finding employment
One year after graduation, a survey found that half of the Edmonds School District’s graduates for 1996 were working in addition to taking classes at two- and four-year colleges. In the Mukilteo School District, 20 percent were employed full time, and 38 percent were working part time a year after graduation. In the Everett School District, a survey found that 48 percent of its 1995 grads were working while attending colleges. Jobs held by graduates ranged from retail and service industries to engineering and aerospace.
Wick-Ed Cellars opens on Colby Avenue in Everett
Jeff and Edalyn Wicklund opened Wick-Ed Cellars in downtown Everett, offering not only wines but also education about wines, without the snob-appeal environment. The new business said it would feature wine-tasting gatherings Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons and provide information about the wines, the winery and regions where they were produced as well as recipes. Visitors also could find advice on which wines would go best with various types of meals.
Seaway Center shakes dormant image
Seaway Center business park in southwest Everett, at the top of the Technology Corridor of business parks stretching north from Bothell, sat empty for years, filled only with underground utilities, high-tech fiber-optic cable and other infrastructure. It remained that way until businesses from King County began noticing the less-costly properties available in the park near the Boeing aircraft assembly plant. In 1998, the first tenants began showing up, including Woodtape, a veneer manufacturer that moved from Kirkland; Lang Manufacturing, builder of commercial ovens; Community Transit; Overall Laundry; a Frito Lay distributorship; and Port Chatham Seaford Co.
Snohomish County’s top employers
The first business journal list of top employers in the county included Boeing, 34,000; Naval Station Everett, 6,250; state of Washington, 4,200; Providence General Medical Center, 2,300; Tramco/BF Goodrich, 2,200; Everett School District, 2,182; GTE Northwest, 2,142; county government, 2,041; Safeway, $1,500; Fluke Corp., 1,500; Blue Cross, 2,345; Marysville School District, 1,300; Advanced Technology Laboratories, 1,297; Tulalip Tribes, 1,350; Stevens Healthcare, 1,200; QFC, 1,000; Snohomish County PUD, 970; and the city of Everett, 950 employees.
— John Wolcott, SCBJ Editor