Everett Mayor Says He’s Embarrassed by Downtown Everett Hotel Delays
Proposed Courtyard by Marriott at Colby and Wall Street in downtown Everett is again delayed.
“This is embarrassing,” said Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson. He was referring to the revelation that Touchstone Corporation will not be breaking ground on a proposed Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at the corner of Colby and Wall in downtown Everett this month. Per an agreement with the city, Touchstone was to start work on the hotel by October 31st or forfeit a half million dollar deposit
. At the Everett City Council meeting Wednesday night Jim O’Hanlon, Vice President of Touchstone, told the Everett City Council that economic issues have made it impossible for his company to meet the deadline and he asked for a one year extension on starting construction. If granted, it would be the 11th extension for the project since the process began in 2008
. In spite of his embarrassment, Mayor Stephanson told the city council that he still has confidence in Touchstone as a developer of the project and he considers the project still important, relevant and ultimately successful in downtown Everett. Since this was only a briefing, the city administration is expected to bring the question of the 11th extension back to the city council as an agenda item later this month. The council has 3 basic choices. 1, approve the extension. 2, force Touchstone to purchase the property including fees and assessments or penalties. 3, End the relationship with Touchstone and re-open the entire hotel project bidding process from scratch. For its part, Touchstone’s O’Hanlon told the City Council that his company is committed to seeing this project thru and that his firm was the fastest way for the city to get the hotel they want at the corner of Wall and Colby in downtown Everett.