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Port of Everett Earns Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council for its Riverside Business Park

Date: Oct 26, 2020

Everett, Wash. – The Port of Everett’s Riverside Business Park earned international recognition this month as the recipent of an Excellence in Economic Development (Gold) Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in the category of Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse.

The honor was presented on October 15 at the virtual awards ceremony during IEDC’s Annual Conference, which focused on building resilient and sustainable communities that thrive.Aerial Photos

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day,” said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders; 35 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

This IEDC award follows additional industry recognition for the same project. In July 2020, the Port earned the 2020 Outstanding Job Creator Award from the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA), an organization that represents the 75 public port districts throughout Washington State. WPPA touted the Port for creating a new job center as a result of its public-private redevelopment endeavor at the Business Park.

“With patience, determination and steady investment, the Port achieved the property goals set by the Port Commission to transform this former mill site into a light-industrial business park to support key industries and jobs,” Port Commission President Glen Bachman said. “Recognition of this redevelopment success is a testament to the contribution ports make every day in economic development and job creation for their communities. It also represents a prime example of the Port’s proven track record for restoring brownfield sites into their highest and best use.”

For more than a century, the Port of Everett has been creating economic opportunity, jobs and expanding tax base by repurposing marginalized industrial lands. The Port’s Riverside Business Park is one of several former environmentally impaired wood product mill sites along the Everett waterfront acquired by the Port. The 85-acre property formerly operated as a Weyerhaeuser’s Mill B from 1915 until the late 1980's. After the Port's purchase of the site, a master plan was developed and key economic criteria were established to guide its redevelopment. The Port made significant public investment in utilities and road infrastructure to support the modern light industrial facility it envisioned. Key to this redevelopment was work with the Washington State Department of Ecology, creating standardized and predicable practices that collared development risk.

Today, the Business Park is thriving, with all parcels sold, developments complete or underway by four private sector and one public sector partners, and 600,000+ square feet of improvements. The site serves a variety of light-industrial users representing regional service functions from aerospace to distribution. Businesses on site include Safran, Motor Trucks, Republic Services, Amazon, Canteen and FedEx Freight. The current company mix supports 700+ direct jobs, 2,300+ indirect jobs, 700+ construction jobs, and contributes $730,000 annually to state and local tax base.

For additional information, contact Catherine Soper, Public Affairs Manager, at 425-388-0680 or by e-mail at


About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at