Mukilteo plans for its 5 acres of waterfront

By Sara Bruestle | Oct 16, 2013

Now that ownership of the Tank Farm was transferred last month, many are looking at what it means for Mukilteo.

The Port of Everett accepted the transfer from the Air Force on Sept. 10, and now owns nearly 20 acres.

The port has plans to convey parts of it “as quickly as possible” to Washington State Ferries, Sound Transit and the city of Mukilteo, said John Mohr, executive director of the port. Other land transfers may also occur, he said.

It took decades to secure 18.8 acres on the northern Mukilteo-Everett waterfront so that it can be redeveloped for a ferry terminal, transit station, parking garage and waterfront promenade.

The most well-known plan for the Mukilteo Multimodal Project is the relocation of the ferry terminal one-third of a mile east of its current location at an estimated cost of $120-$130 million.

If the funding is secured, construction of the terminal is slated for 2016, said Nicole McIntosh, WSF design engineering manager for the project. However, she said WSF didn’t get the $32 million grant it had hoped for.

“That [grant] would have [allowed us] a pretty aggressive timeline,” McIntosh said. “We need to re-estimate the project and ensure [plans] are in line with what is happening today, and see where we can get additional funds.”

Although WSF still has a funding gap, McIntosh said residents could still see the demolition of the Tank Farm pier start in 2014.

Also well-known is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which leases part of the property for its Mukilteo Field Station, would also receive that 1.1 acres.

Other stakeholders, including the city of Mukilteo, have also developed preliminary plans for other uses of the property.

Mohr said it is likely that about 5 acres will go to Mukilteo for redevelopment. That acreage includes where the ferry terminal and holding lanes are now and a promenade along the waterfront.

Mukilteo’s plans still need to go through the city’s approval process – including time for public comment – but could be approved by January, said Heather McCartney, director of the city’s Planning & Community Development Department.

Potential projects for Mukilteo’s 5 acres, slated for a timeline of 2014-2025, include the following:

• A waterfront walkway would stretch from the NOAA property along the waterfront, through the ferry terminal to Japanese Gulch Creek and finally to Edgewater Park, a 2-acre beach park on the Everett end of the Tank Farm. It would add a half mile of level walkway along the water and connect to sidewalk on Front Street, creating a loop. Mukilteo and Everett are in talks to transfer Edgewater Park to Mukilteo.

• Japanese Gulch Creek would be “daylighted,” meaning it would be restored to an open stream.

• A “prow” or “treaty” park would be created at the base of the old Tank Farm pier with Native American elements that memorialize the site where the Point Elliott Treaty was signed and their ways of life.

• The city is partnering with Sound Transit to build an automated or “robotic” parking garage with 350-400 parking stalls. McCartney said the available pad is about 500 feet long, and 120 feet wide. The structure could be 30-35 feet tall, she said. An automated parking garage can fit 2-3 times as many vehicles into the same space as a traditional garage, Mayor Joe Marine said.

“The promenade can connect to the garage, and they can walk by an Ivar’s walk-up bar or a Starbucks,” Marine added. “You can go up for views of the water, see shops, go down and continue your walk.”

• The fishing pier would be replaced and expanded for day boat moorage, tourism and tours. The city is working with the Port of Everett to combine two piers – the port’s and NOAA’s – into one.

• The Mukilteo boat launch would be relocated from Lighthouse Park to the Everett end of the Tank Farm.

“The land over there is smaller than the current boat launch site,” said Les Reardanz, chief administrative officer of the Port of Everett, “so that poses some issues.”

• Front Street would be extended to increase public access east of Park Avenue.

• A dive park may also be designated off of Park Avenue. Divers go there now, but it’s not official.

Celebrate! A celebration of the Tank Farm transfer is scheduled for 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo. RSVP to 425-388-0226 or catherines@portofeverett.com.

Other multimodal plans on the waterfront include a Community Transit station, a pedestrian-bike bridge and interim commuter parking during redevelopment.

More information is available at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/ferries/mukilteoterminal/multimodal.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Tony Guzman | Oct 17, 2013 09:50

How much more of the waterfront is going to converted for the sake of supporting commuters and not the residents of Mukilteo. Are we as residents supposed to be thrilled about a single promenade with limited beach access. What consideration has been given to the environmental impact on the increased number of vehicles sitting in a parking structure or waiting to board a ferry? The run-off pollutants entering the water? Seriously what is the point of opening Japanese Gulch and attempting to protect Japanese Gulch if Mukilteo is going to introduce more vehicle traffic/parking down to the waterfront? Why not use the open and unused space by Harbour Place and Mukilteo Speedway for a garage and transit center? Provide the users with a "street car" method of gaining access to the ferry/train/buses? That space is just sitting there...surely it has to be less expensive to develop than the area along the waterfront? Also, it would have more direct access to Paine Field Blvd and south along Speedway. Residents may be more likely to leave their vehicles at home if they could walk or ride their bicycles to this location to catch a ride on public transit. Also, it sits in an area with limited sight lines to homes, so few residents would look out their windows and see a large unsightly parking structure. With a streetcar option, individuals would have access to the waterfront activities limiting the stress of attempting to locate parking at the same time there will be access to Big Gulch as well for those who simply which to take a short hike down into the park. A small fee could be charged via ORCA system to ride from parking garage to waterfront and back. Also, a number of residents in Mukilteo would appreciate having a closer park and ride, reducing the wear and tear on their own vehicles having to access Mariner, Ash Way, Lynnwood...all of which fill completely and quickly.

The space around the waterfront should be redeveloped in a manner that promotes people, to come down and relax, unwind and enjoy what it has to offer. It should also fully take into consideration all the existing residents of the old town area. The art building rebuilt in the space to support local artist, with store front to sell some of those works. Additional places to eat, different options? Create more of a board walk atmosphere that draws people on foot or via public transit. Not by their cars. An area that the folks on Whidbey can leave their vehicles on the island, take a short cruise across and enjoy a nice afternoon/evening before heading back...without the stress of having to look for parking when they arrive. During the summer months when the ferry wait times are exceeding 90 minutes and up to 2 hours, perhaps those folks will wander the options available and spend money supporting the community or simply strolling the beach front until time to embark.

When my family and I moved here, we looked around and appreciated all the green space...now I am watching it slowly being eroded by development. It just seems to me that the agenda of Mukilteo's "leadership" is less about Mukilteo. The more I read about the Multimodal options and this article, the more I see an area buried under asphalt and concrete, reducing a beautiful skyline to structures.



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