Seattle Culture

The One-Stop Waterfront

Everett is in the midst of a metamorphic makeover

By Julie Zack April 9, 2024


This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

For decades, Everett has been associated with Boeing planes and the naval base, where nearly a dozen combined Navy and Coast Guard ships are currently homeported. It’s a bit industrial, and maybe not the location many Seattle-area folks have historically been excited to settle in. That’s all changing with the expansion of Everett’s waterfront and surrounding areas, leading to new, exciting, and walkable spaces to explore, stay, and dine.

Everett’s waterfront can be described in one word: booming. Nestled along Port Gardner Bay, the waterfront district in northern Everett has a variety of restaurants, hotels, and recreation spaces, with more on the way. Waterfront Place is a $550 million, 1.5-million-acre mixed-use public-private development, which, when done, will represent an investment of more than $1 billion by the Port of Everett and its partners.

At 65 acres, it will be more than three times the size of Seattle’s Waterfront Park — a 20-acre makeover that will feature open public spaces linked by a pedestrian-oriented promenade — and rivals the redevelopment of Tacoma’s Point Ruston.

Plans include 63,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 447,500 square feet for offices, two hotels, 20,000 square feet for retail along the marina, and more than 600 waterfront apartments, condos, and townhomes.

The area connects easily to downtown Everett for pedestrians via the Grand Avenue Bridge, and in the summer, a free shuttle runs from downtown Everett to the marina. That said, parking is usually easy to come by and reasonably priced.

“We’re creating a unique destination,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber told Seattle magazine recently. “This area was the industrial hub of Everett when the port was formed more than a century ago. It has now become a hub of the revitalization for all of Everett.”

The waterfront is particularly fun in the summer, with a splash pad in Pacific Rim Plaza, and several green spaces to walk the dog, throw a Frisbee, or enjoy the views. For those who like to run without being chased, the waterfront trail provides several miles along the marina with sparkling scenery and hundreds of boats to ogle. Summers also host Music in the Marina on Thursday evenings, with local musicians playing free concerts for all to enjoy.

With everything new along the marina, it’s good to know there are still staples nearby that have long anchored Port Gardner, including restaurants like Lombardi’s and Anthony’s Homeport, and the American Legion Memorial Golf Course and Park. The golf course offers 18 beautiful holes and was most recently remodeled in 2019.

Everett is among the more affordable spots in the region. median home prices are $550,000

The adjacent park has a baseball diamond, pickleball court, basketball court, arboretum, waterfront viewing areas, picnic tables, and a really cool playground that was the backdrop for a most excellent Spider Man costume birthday party last summer. (Seriously. Turning 4-years old has never looked so cool.)

Coming into downtown Everett can also be a treat. It’s home to the Funko headquarters, with nods to popular Funko Pop! characters near the main campus. Pop! enthusiasts can visit Funko HQ and peruse the store for rare finds.

Between the waterfront and downtown is The Sisters Restaurant, a family establishment founded more than 40 years ago. Serving American fare, this from-scratch kitchen offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. It’s also in the same building as the Sno-Isle Food Co-op, which is a fun shop with excellent produce and an insane selection of craft beers.

In addition to the fun happenings going on in Everett, it’s one of the more affordable spots along the greater Puget Sound. Median home prices are $550,000, which, while still above the national home price average, isn’t as daunting as many of the neighborhoods in Seattle proper or nearby areas.

Overall, Everett is definitely up-and-coming, with fun happenings and adventures now, with the promise of more to come.

“This place is so special,” says Holly Gardner, president of the company that has been the port’s retail development partner for the past five years, told Seattle magazine last year. “We’re going to blow [Seattle and Tacoma] out of the water. We have the largest public marina on the West coast, the largest number of super yachts, and a long wait list. This is the place to be.”

Known for: Boeing planes and the naval station
Best place to escape the work from home blues: The Sisters Restaurant
Walkability: 60
Median home price: $550,000
Surprising fact: Historic Everett Theater is the state’s oldest (1901)

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