By Kristin Bentley

The Port of Everett began construction Monday on phase one of its $350 million project to redevelop its 65-acre North Marina property, Waterfront Place.

As the master developer on the project, Port of Everett Chief of Policy & Communications, Lisa Lefeber, says the port has officially begun construction. “A lot of exciting things are happening right now, we’ve just been awarded two multi-million dollar contracts to do all of the public infrastructure for the first phase, which we’re calling Fisherman’s Harbor,” said Lefeber.

In early August, the Port Commission awarded a $4.4 million contract to Oregon-based Bergerson Construction to complete the marine elements. This includes removing and reconstructing part of the seawall, as well as construction of a new wharf, platform and access pier. In September, a little more than a month later, the Port Commission awarded a $7.6 million contract to Burlington, Wa.-based Interwest Construction to construct all of the roads, utilities and public access features.

The port has also reached terms with a housing developer for 254 residential units and for a 140-room hotel for Fisherman’s Harbor, says Lefeber. The agreements with the two developers have not yet been finalized, however, she added that they should be by the end of the year to begin construction next year.

Fisherman’s Harbor, is a 12-acre area that will center around commercial fishing and recreational boating with unique shopping and dining experiences along the wharf that are designed to attract both residents and visitors. A path will go along the waterfront, allowing visitors to walk down to the fishing vessels and dock.

In total, it will offer over 300,000 square feet of retail, office, restaurant and hotel spaces. There will also be a formal park and a splash plaza, featuring monuments and foreign flags that tell the port’s international commerce story, will be the central gathering place of the project. An esplanade will provide entertainment with it’s radio-controlled boats and dingy track.

Lefeber says the first phase will be complete by 2019. The remaining four phases may take an additional seven to ten years. Once complete, the new 65-acre Waterfront Place will become home to nearly 660 new residential units, two hotels, at least 10 restaurants, 662,000 square feet of combined commercial, retail and marine sales and services.

There will also be open spaces with trails, courtyards, a plaza, a two-acre park and a promenade. According to a press release issued by the port in August, the project will support more than 2,000 jobs and will create $8.6 million in new tax revenue for the city.

“We’re making it authentic to Everett, so it’s going to have it’s own personality, story and image,” Lefeber said. “Everett was built on an industry of commercial fishing, mill town industry bulk and paper and boatbuilding, so every phase of the development honors the heritage of the site and the industry that once operated on the waterfront.”