Published May 2006

Marysville, Tulalips plan
for retail, job growth

By John Wolcott
SCBJ Editor

Marysville is one of the fastest-growing areas in Snohomish County, which is in the midst of major economic growth on all fronts.

In two recent Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce meetings, legislator John McCoy and Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall told their audiences at the Tulalip Casino that even more development is coming to the north county area, and soon.

Rep. McCoy, who also is the general manager of Quil Ceda Village, where the tribes have been focusing their construction work, said the Tulalip Tribes plan to begin building a 380-room hotel adjacent to the casino some time this summer.

“It will be a three- or four-star hotel, ready for business by 2008. We’ll be heavy into services, and amenities will include a spa and swimming pool, with pool decorations that we hope will be a setting for many weddings. As things progress, we’ll make sure the community knows what we’re doing,” McCoy said.

As for the long-vacant space between Home Depot and the casino, McCoy said they’re in discussions with developers who could build “one or two more destination-type stores, such as one with reality games, or even a movie theater or a bowling alley” to add more entertainment to the village.

Also, because of the success of the recently opened Seattle Premium Outlet Mall north of the casino, Quil Ceda Village has approved construction of an additional 10 stores that will join nearly 100 specialty businesses already in the mall, he said.

Development on the Tulalip Reservation has made the tribes Snohomish County’s fourth-largest employer, with more than 3,000 employees in Quil Ceda Village and other Tulalip enterprises. Along with the village’s Wal-Mart, Home Depot and a variety of banks, restaurants and retail stores, there is a large entertainment amphitheater.

Also, construction is close to starting on a Bob’s Burger & Brew restaurant, and the tribes have begun building the first phase of a tribal museum.

Next, said McCoy, the Tulalip Tribes are working toward developing light industrial properties on the west side of the village and warehousing or storage centers to create more variety in the job market.

Part of that area may be developed at some point for an RV park, he said, noting that the Tulalip Tribes also are working with state and county government to improve access to the village.

“We are working on widening the 116th Street overpass on I-5 to five lanes and easing traffic congestion where 34th Street crosses 116th Street from the north, by Donna’s Travel Plaza truck stop and service station. Instead, it will be realigned to the west to meet with Quil Ceda Drive that enters the village,” McCoy said.

Plans were dropped for a water park attraction, he said, after developers broke off talks and then announced plans for a water park along I-5 north of the village. A golf course, too, is off the master plan, since most of the courses in the area already are losing money or struggling to survive, he said.

Looking across the freeway at Marysville economic developments, he said the tribes are supporting the city in attracting new development to the area.

“We can’t be all things to everyone. Marysville is doing a great job working on economic development,” he said. “We support them and work with them.”

Marysville’s Mayor Kendall has his own economic boom under way.

“There is more than 1 million square feet of new retail space due to open by the end of the year,” he said. “We are the fastest-growing county in the state, and Marysville is the fastest-growing part of the county.”

On the east side of the freeway, in Marysville, construction has begun on the Gateway Shopping Center, anchored by a 255,000-square-foot Kohl’s department store and a WinCo Foods supermarket on the 34-acre site that spans a two-block-deep parcel of land on 116th Street NE between the I-5 interchange and Highway 99. As many as 19 smaller stores will be built in the shopping center, along with two restaurants.

To the south, on 88th Street at the

I-5 interchange, a Holiday Inn Express is being built south of a service station and within a block of the new Applebee’s restaurant that opened earlier this year. To the north, Sound Harley-Davidson is building a new dealership, including a motorcycle track for trying out the dealer’s bikes.

An area in unincorporated Snohomish County north of Marysville, once the site of a proposed NASCAR racetrack, is being annexed by the city to be used as a job development center, Kendall said, with expectations of attracting “1,500 to 2,000 jobs in that area in the next two to three years.”

Farther north in Marysville, west of the Smokey Point interchange on I-5, development is well along on the 476,000-square-foot Lakewood Crossing regional shopping center. It’s focused around Costco and a Target store plus dozens of restaurants and other retail outlets, all expected to be open by fall. There will be at least seven or eight other stores in the center, as well as four restaurants.

Lakewood Crossing is being built on land west of I-5 that was annexed months ago by Marysville. The site being cleared is across the freeway from a well-established commercial center at Smokey Point. Development of the entire interchange area at 172nd Street NE is expected to spur continued development on both sides of the freeway.

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