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THIS IS WHAT A THOUSAND HOUSES LOOKS LIKE
J425 update on massive development at Whiskey Ridge: 11,000+ new residents to Lake Stevens School District...& the City of Marysville by 2025. Also: Chipotle, Everett Clinic updates & aerial pics
LAKE STEVENS — There’s a thousand new houses going in right now just north of the Everett Clinic/White Barn development at SR-9 and Soper Hill Road. The 11,000 people that are slated to move into this region by 2025 will pay municipal taxes to Marysville, they’ll live at a Marysville address…and their kids will be Vikings - just like the kids from this area before them.
Somehow these plot lines escaped our earlier J425 Development Update reports focusing on the new commercial development ongoing at the nexus of Lake Stevens and Marysville.
And yes, we have updates on the new businesses (no, there’s not a Trader Joe’s) — skip to the bottom if you want info when Chipotle opens.
But the story that you need to see first is the massive residential development going in at Whiskey Ridge — specifically along 87th.
This story is your introduction to it. We’ll provide you with aerial footage and a brief background, we’ll dig into details later.
Focusing on 87th alone, between Soper Hill Road and the equivalent of 54th (54th doesn’t punch through on the Marysville side, so call it the 5400 block of 87th, see map) — there are currently 1,009 NEW RESIDENCES IN CURRENT DEVELOPMENT — part of a longterm plan that will yield a 12x population growth in this 2500 acre — in other words: 11,000 people will move into this swath of land by 2025. Don’t take my word for it, Marysville told you in 2007:
Development on a Scope We Haven’t Seen Here
Development on a scope we haven’t seen around here. That’s all I could think of as I tossed the drone up at the intersection of Sunnyside and 87th, basically at the corner of the bus barn. I’d come to get an update on Lake Stevens Landing and the Everett Clinic progress, but remembering a tip to check out 87th, I made my way to the bus barn.
If you haven’t taken a spin along 87th lately — that’s the N/S arterial that runs parallel to SR-9 on the Marysville side…it’s unrecognizable. What does it look like? The sheer scope of it all is breathtaking -
as is the homogenous nature of the development — nearly 100% residential.
There was a commercial property set to go in on the Southwest side of 64th and SR-9, but they’ve applied to rezone for residential.
And aside from the Everett Clinic development at Soper Hill and 87th, there remains just one 31 acre lot left for commercial development in this area.
That piece of property is ready to build and I’m guessing that whomever figures out the income that can be made off of the 1009 houses going in alone is going to swoop in, develop this last piece and make off nicely. (And no, you won’t get your Trader Joe’s here either, it’s too far in off SR-9).
A Plan 25 Years in the Making
The development slated for this area has hardly been a secret. We’ve known about it since 2007 or so. That’s when Lake Stevens and Marysville did battle for this area primed for future redevelopment — a battle which Marysville ultimately won, annexing in 2,500 acres along SR-9 in December of 2007 after a contentious battle with — if not the City of Lake Stevens — the Lake Stevens identifying residents who live in Whiskey Ridge.
For a while, the governance of this area seemed to be up for grabs. On one hand, this area is, was and will remain part of the Lake Stevens School District.
And while that has little legal bearing on the boundaries of cities, we see cities and school districts growing into shared boundary lines so often because school districts form the backbone of community — and because school district boundaries were laid out long ago and seldom change (that’s another story), cities — which grow into their adjacent unincorporated county land at a much more deliberate pace — often choose to annex right up to the district boundary, as people who send their kids to LSSD are more likely than not going to self-identify as Lake Stevens residents.
On the other hand, Marysville boasted a strong geographical argument for growing into Whiskey Ridge — their boundary lines were following this rough outline north of this region (think 64th)…and most of all Marysville had a strong strategic rationale for cutting off Lake Stevens at SR-9…before the growing city west of the highway manifested its destiny across the highway and into Marysville’s sphere of influence.
As of 2006, the City of Lake Stevens was pushing annexation hard, behind the strategy and messaging of full time Annexation Coordinator Carl Nelson and City Administrator Jan Berg. Lake Drive came into the Lake Stevens fold, as did the Hewlett Packard property (long looked at by the school district for possible acquisition as a developable property) that eventually became the Crosswater development.
With Crosswater, Lake Stevens was west of SR-9 and abutting the southern border of Marysville’s growth plan. The annexation of Whiskey Ridge would decide the permanent western border of Lake Stevens and whom would oversee the massive residential infill slated for this hilltop parallel to SR-9.
Marysville won that battle, which is a story for a different day.
Shortly after the annexation went final, Marysville rolled out the plans for the development we are seeing today, running new arterials through the properties of several third-generation Lake Stevens families.
How bitter was the fighting? In adopting the final Whiskey Ridge subarea plans, Marysville mayor Dennis Kendall said he’d rather “piss off the eight people on the hill” than saddle the rest of Marysville with the costs of (what he felt would be) the improper planning of this area.
As it is Kendall said the options before the city are to anger eight people who live on the hill near the new city water tower or expand Sunnyside Boulevard, which would require taking property from more than 350 different owners. That would mean Marysville would have to find $86 million to pay for that work. “I can understand their position. They don’t want to break up their land,” Kendall said. “If it was my decision to make I’d piss off the eight people on the hill.”
- Marysville Globe, August 28, 2008
Fifteen years later and work is well underway. And if the scope of the undertaking is shielded from daily SR-9 drivers by a thin scree of trees, it’s readily apparent if you move just 100 yards west of the highway…or, for our purposes, if you’re headed over to the Everett Clinic development to check out progress.
Commercial Projects Move Forward
We’ve reported previously on the commercial activity at Lake Stevens Landing and across the street at the Everett Clinic “White Barn” development.
The Everett Clinic building is visually impressive and looks big enough to be a small hospital. Signage on property advertises a 2023 opening.
Abutting the Everett Clinic, Marysville has approved permits for a new 12-pump gas and convenience store, basically across the street from the entrance to Crosswater.
While development races forward on the west side of SR-9, action is picking up steam across the street too, where the Arco and its car wash opened in December.
Now, a Chipotle opening seems imminent (they’re hiring, kids!). The adjacent Starbucks isn’t far behind. And the massive GenCare assisted living facility (four times as big as the Everett Clinic building) is beginning site work on the north end of the Lake Stevens Landing project.