MUKILTEO, Wash. – On Friday the U.S. Department of Defense conveyed 21 acres of what remained of an Air Force tank farm to the Port of Everett for redevelopment. Another 1.1 acres leased for decades by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a laboratory studying Puget Sound will now get title to that land.
Built in the early 1940s, the USAF stopped using the facility in 1989. The Port of Everett redeveloped a small portion on the north end to transfer large containers holding airplane parts onto railroad cars and then up the hill to Boeing's Everett factory. Another piece became the Sound Transit Mukilteo station for commuter train service. But most of the site still sits in various stages of decay as local communities and U.S. Senator Patty Murray kept pushing on the federal government to turn it over.
By late next year the Port of Everett expects to re-open some public beach access. In another four to five years Washington State Ferries expects to move its dock further to the north allowing for a much larger lot for holding cars and trucks waiting on the next ferry. For decades WSF has relied on a smaller lot that routinely forces traffic to back up for miles along state route 525 at busy times.
As the ferry terminal comes on line, the Port of Everett expects that stores, restaurants and other amenities will be built out as well. Currently the ferry system is waiting for the final $32 million installment of funds to continue with its portion - money ferries system chief David Mosley said is still trapped by the stalled transportation bill that never made it out of the legislative session.