Last month, I wrote about the contest for the University of Washington's next branch campus, which had been narrowed down to four sites, all in Snohomish County — two sites in Everett (Riverside and Everett Station), one near Marysville, and one just outside Lake Stevens. The consultants tasked with making a recommendation to Gov. Gregoire and the legislature have since weighed in with their vote: Everett Station.
Several factors swayed the consultants to Everett's cause: 1) sustainability, 2) urban infrastructure and employment opportunities, and 3) cost. The consultants think Everett would be the easiest site on which to build in an environmentally sustainable manner. Everett also has location going for it; it's close enough to Seattle, but not too close, as critics say Bothell is. Everett got high marks for transportation, both in its proximity to I-5 and the potential for multi-modal transit options. There's no need to prepare the site for construction, and the campus can best take advantage of business partnerships in Everett, say the consultants. Everett's only shortcomings are the need to purchase additional land in the future and the necessity of building parking structures as opposed to less costly lots.
Everett's other site did not come in second, however. Smokey Point in Marysville did, raising the possibility that Everett could be unseated in a further contest. When the legislature chose Bothell as a UW campus site, they were going against the consultants' recommendations at the time. Some advocates in Snohomish County hope that happens again.