Everett's Surprising Allure
Snohomish County is getting attention from investors. Six months after its first acquisition in Everett, Lowe Enterprises Investors snapped up the 264-unit North Creek Apartments at 11401 3rd Ave SE in a JV. (Competition for Snohomish is no longer limited to those who can pronounce it.)
LEI SVP Andy Sands tells us that the firm became well acquainted with the Everett market when it bought Covington Farms. What the company found out: “Everett’s a tight submarket with no new construction underway, unlike downtown Seattle, Bellevue, and the surrounding communities,” Andy says.
Everett’s a not just a good place to buy housing, Andy adds, it’s a good place to buy workforce housing. It has a solid employment base "anchored by Boeing, Naval Station Everett and the Port of Everett,” he says. So LEI wants properties that can be updated yet will remain affordable to the local workforce, because many other properties being developed in Puget Sound urban markets are out of reach, Andy explains. Built in 1989, the garden-style property is 95% occupied.
Everett-based Windermere Commercial NW prez Ronald Thompson agrees that multifamily is still the hottest investment property type in Everett and the surrounding area, but office and retail are on the rise. “Commercial vacancies in Snohomish are still relatively high: 15% in office, retail in the same range,” he tells us, but investors are thinking about the long term, as fundamentals improve. There’s a lot of demand for net-leased properties, but not as much supply, since owners are hanging on to their properties, he adds. Few other investments offer a better return.
Efforts are underway to guide the county’s workforce toward advanced manufacturing facilities. Next month, Everett Community College is opening its Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Education Center. Look for more skilled workers in machining, welding, engineering tech, and composites, ECC dean-aerospace & advanced manufacturing Sheila Dunn tells us. (Which means also look for some of the slickest pinewood derby cars once these guys and gals get settled.) Sheila adds, “The new training center will provide students with the opportunity to learn first-hand the manufacturing process.”