In 2022, the Port of Everett, in partnership with the City of Mukilteo, led a new waterfront development visioning effort to establish a unified vision for undeveloped Mukilteo shoreline properties, including the former NOAA site that will soon transfer back to Port ownership. The Port hired NBBJ, an architecture, planning and design firm, to begin initial planning, including data gathering and community engagement, to help inform the vision and future development planning. With 10 property owners over 26 acres, the waterfront needs a comprehensive development strategy to ensure a quality and accessible mix of uses at the waterfront. The study area stretches from Mukilteo’s Lighthouse Park to Edgewater Beach.
This visioning effort included forming a diverse waterfront stakeholder group, launching an online survey, interviewing City Council members, sending direct mailers to thousands of Port District residents, and hosting a well-attended open house. Around the same time, the Port also acquired the former Mukilteo ferry holding lanes, just under 1 acre, in support of the unified vision — so there are now 10 owners over 26 acres instead of the previous 11. The Port is operating the site as a commercial parking lot in the interim.
In 2013, the Port acquired the former Mukilteo Tank Farm site from the U.S. Air Force after a nearly 20-year effort. In 2016, the land was conveyed to area stakeholders to begin redevelopment — most of which has not yet occurred. In 2021, NOAA announced it would not be moving forward with its research facility and with more than half of the waterfront undeveloped and inaccessible to the public, the Port is using this as an opportunity to help move the Mukilteo waterfront forward.
Waterfront Stakeholder Workgroup
The Port convened a diverse stakeholder workgroup representing a broad set of interests and attractions at the Mukilteo waterfront — from business, recreation and transportation to history, culture and education. A key deliverable of the group was to utilize public input to establish a vision statement and set of guiding principles for redevelopment that ensure the character and community priorities are considered with any future development.
The group had several working meetings facilitated by NBBJ Architects with exercises at each session to help the group form their feedback into a draft vision statement and draft set of guiding principles (also incorporating feedback from individual interviews with City Council members and others) to present to the greater community for input.
Community outreach included launching an online survey, sending direct mailers to thousands of Port residents and hosting a well-attended open house. More than 850 comments were received in total through this effort — making it one of the most successful community feedback solicitations in Port history.
After the public had an opportunity to weigh in, the workgroup reconvened and made adjustments to ensure the vision and guiding principles reflect the character and overarching wishes of the community before they were brought to the Port Commission and Mukilteo City Council for consideration. They were approved unanimously.
The goal of this public outreach effort is to set the stage for informed development planning that supports a unified vision for the waterfront moving forward.
In 2023, at the request of the Mukilteo City Council, the Port of Everett expedited delivery of some early concept artist renderings to provide a preliminary idea of what future redevelopment of the Mukilteo waterfront could look like. The renderings reflect the unified vision and guiding principles adopted late last year by the Port Commission and City Council, following extensive waterfront stakeholder engagement, Council feedback and community input on the topic. The call was clear. The Mukilteo community wants a vibrant waterfront with access to the water, walking trails, dining, culture, and a place to enjoy magnificent views of the sea, islands and mountains.
The Port and City are now working to determine how a formal partnership will be structured to move development forward. Both parties established negotiating committees and started convening this summer. The hope is to reach agreement by the end of the year.