More progress being made on MIC

  • Saturday, October 6, 2018 1:30am
  • Opinion

By Jon Nehring

A key part of the city’s long-range economic development strategy is the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center. This 4,000-acre site includes properties in northeast Marysville and southwest Arlington.

Nearly 1,800 acres – about 44 percent of the total land area – has capacity for additional development. The MIC’s mix of a large amount of developable property, proximity to transportation assets, relatively affordable housing and a large manufacturing workf orce in our region make this an attractive site for industry.

Together with Arlington, Marysville leaders have a vision of attracting manufacturing and industrial companies to create family wage jobs for our residents. Over the past two years we have been working on several steps toward establishing the MIC as a viable option for potential investors.

•Develop and adopt a subarea plan for the manufacturing industrial area. A draft plan open house is set for Oct. 17, from 5-7 p.m. at Crown Distributing, 17117 59th Ave. N.E., Arlington. A presentation and interactive session starts at 5:30 p.m. Come learn more and share thoughts about transportation, planned improvements, stormwater, streets and trails, and jobs and workforce development.

•Earn designation by Puget Sound Regional Council as a regional manufacturing industrial center. This designation would put the MIC “on the map” as business interests from look into locations in Puget Sound.

The current PSRC map of regional manufacturing industrial centers shows Everett as its northern boundary. After the Marysville and Arlington city councils have both adopted a subarea plan, we can move forward with pursuing the PSRC designation next year.

In addition, Marysville has been making significant infrastructure investments to serve this developing commercial area. We started work this year on designing roadway improvements to extend 156th Street NE, widen 51st Avenue NE and build 160th Street NE between Smokey Point Boulevard and 51st to create a roadway loop with utilities to support development. City staff is working toward 30 percent design on a new I-5 interchange approved by the state for construction.

This project will convert the overcrossing east of Smokey Point Boulevard at 156th Street NE to a full freeway interchange. Construction costs of $42 million are fully funded by legislation approved in 2016. Preliminary construction work is estimated to begin in 2025.

We are working with Arlington, Snohomish County, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, the Port of Everett and Community Transit to develop a marketing strategy. A key advantage for investors is a tax exemption if they create at least 25 full-time jobs paying at least $18/hour and other criteria. Residents will have the opportunity to trade their commutes for working closer to home, allowing more time for family, recreation and community involvement.

Jon Nehring is mayor of Marysville. His column runs monthly.

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