Port of Everett Wants Kimberly-Clark Site, City of Everett Says Go For It

Port of Everett

The resolution passed unanimously.

Tonight Port of Everett Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward to acquire the property on the Everett waterfront where the Kimberly-Clark plant once stood. In December of 2011 Kimberly-Clark announced it planned on closing the plant in 2012 after talks with suitors to buy the plant that employed 750 workers failed.

Port of Everett

The Kimberly-Clark property as it sits today.

In February of 2012 the City of Everett issued a moratorium on developing the property so they could have some say on its future. The city of Everett Planning Commission held public hearings and came up with four alternatives on dealing with the property. They narrowed that down to a preferred alternative known as alternative #4 that the Everett City Council eventually approved in January 2013. During the public hearings the speakers were 4 – 1 in favor of maintaining the zoning as water-dependent industrial mixed use which would allow industrial and commercial use at the deep water portion of the site while also allowing non-water dependent uses on the majority of the site.

In October 2013 Kimberly-Clark had a tentative agreement to sell the property to Foss Maritime for use as a shipyard. That agreement fell through after the two sides could not agree who would pay what to cover the costs of required cleanup.

Tonight the Port Commissioners heard a presentation from Port of Everett staff that the desire was to move forward and restore the jobs lost and protect the economic viability of the Port. Port CEO Les Reardanz told the commissioners that the staff had done its due diligence, the Port can afford the property and the public was best served by making sure it remained a maritime use. He also told the commissioners that development by the Port would most compatible with the Navy base adjacent to the property.

Port of Everett

Mayor Stephanson addresses the commissioners.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson told the commissioners that it was a smart move on the part of the Port. “It is in our collective best interest,” said Stephanson.

Port of Everett

Bryan Lust, project manager for Kimberly-Clark in Everett

Bryan Lust, who works as the site manager for Kimberly-Clark spoke to the commissioners and delivered what he called a prepared statement from Kimberly-Clark. In short it expressed concern over the prospect of the Port using eminent domain to take the property and questioned whether the Port of Everett was trying to “quell private marketing activity and discourage K-C’s efforts to sell the property to any party other than the Port of Everett.” You can see the entire statement here.

Kimberly-Clark statement to Port of Everett Feb. 9, 2016

Port of Everett Commissioners then began their discussions with Glen Bachman noting 50 percent of Everett’s population is trade dependent and commissioner Tom Stiger saying the Port has shown interest in the property since 2012 and Kimberly-Clark has had ample opportunity to market the property. Commissioner Troy McClelland promised the Port would negotiate in good faith.


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