Tank Farm transfer as good as done
After nearly 70 years, Mukilteo will again have access to its waterfront, as soon as next year.
The Port of Everett Commission on Sept. 10 accepted the transfer of the Mukilteo Tank Farm from the U.S. Air Force.
Port officials expect that the 20-acre Tank Farm will be in local control before October. All that is needed now is a signature from the Secretary of the Air Force.
“I’m confident the transfer will take place before the end of the month,” said John Mohr, executive director of the port.
The port has worked with the city of Mukilteo, city of Everett, Washington State Ferries, Sound Transit and Community Transit for 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 Mukilteo Multimodal Project includes 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.
“It’s been close to 70 years since residents have had any access to that property,” Mayor Joe Marine said. “We and many before me have worked on it for the last 20 years.
“It’s taken longer than anyone had anticipated, but it’s done. I’m very proud and happy to be here while it happened.”
Public access to the waterfront is scheduled to be restored by next summer. The port has plans to build a road and sidewalk in 2014 from the Mt. Baker Crossing to Edgewater Park. No access will be allowed before then.
“We’ve got great opportunities moving forward,” Marine said. “It will definitely change the whole look and feel [of the waterfront]. Just imagine how cool it will be to walk on a promenade from the lighthouse to the Boeing pier.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, however, is still waiting to accept the transfer of 1.1 acres of the property. The land is leased to NOAA for the Mukilteo Field Station.
Once the property transfers to the Port of Everett, the port will then convey parts of it “as quickly as possible” to Washington State Ferries, Sound Transit and the city of Mukilteo, Mohr said. Other land transfers may also occur, he said.
“That’s a process that should be completed by the end of the year,” Mohr said.
Mohr said it is likely that around 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.
About 15 acres will go to Washington State Ferries, for the relocated ferry terminal, and to Sound Transit, for the second platform of the Mukilteo Sounder Station, he said.
“They’re going through the property right now,” Marine said. “They’re splitting up the property lines.”
The cities of Mukilteo and Everett are also in talks to transfer the 2-acre Edgewater Park on the Everett end of the Tank Farm to Mukilteo. The park has been closed for many years. When the port’s road to the park is finished, it will be re-opened, Mohr said.
“Prior to Burlington Northern cutting off that access, it was a very popular area in the community,” he said. “It could potentially be a good fishing beach or for people to go wading.”
Other multimodal plans on the waterfront include a Community Transit station, a pedestrian-bike bridge, and a new First Street connection, as well as possible boat launch relocation, fishing pier relocation and interim commuter parking during redevelopment.
“This has been such a long and somewhat torturous process,” Mohr said. “We are just happy to be able to complete it. We want to get the access of the property back into the hands of the community.”
“There’s so many people that say to me, ‘I’ll never see this in my lifetime,’” he said. “I’m happy to say most of them have seen it in their lifetimes.”
More information is available at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/ferries/mukilteoterminal/multimodal.