The Puget Sound’s 10th officially designated Manufacturing Industrial Center will be in the Smokey Point area.
On June 27 the Puget Sound Regional Council voted unanimously to approve the designation for the Cascade Industrial Center (formerly known as the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center before a recent name change).
“The Cascade Industrial Center has achieved its designation today and joins our other center at Paine Field,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.
He expects that the area will now be able to bring in more manufacturing jobs.
Local officials have planned the area as an industrial center over the last several years.
“This is a very exciting day,” said Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert. “This center has been in operation for a number of years but this is a big milestone for it."
The Puget Sound Regional Council receives tens of millions of dollars in federal funds each year that can be sent to the local manufacturing centers to pay for infrastructure and other improvements meant for industrial businesses.
“Now that we’re recognized we’ll be able to compete for those funds,” said Tolbert. “We’ll be primed to compete for that money."
Those federal funds are meant for the specifically designated centers.
“The idea is not to spread those dollars around. We want to be strategic and spend those funds in areas that are supported for manufacturing and industry,” said Josh Brown, executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council.
The designation was a long-time coming for many local officials.
“Our cities have worked really hard and we have had requests to rezone the land, but we have kept it as a planned industrial center,” said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.
The Cascade Industrial Center is largely next to the Arlington Airport in Smokey Point and in north Marysville.
The hope for the area is to be a competitive place to attract manufacturing and industrial jobs.
Tim Shoultz is a local CEO who has been investing in retail and office space in the county for about six years.
“We broke ground in this region last September,” he said. “We believe that the area is ripe for development.”
He said that his first development in the Cascade Industrial Center was filled about 90 percent with tenants now.
The majority of those tenants are coming from elsewhere, especially southern locations where the rent prices are higher.
“There’s a huge amount of price reduction for these tenants,” said Shoultz.
Brown said that the regional council has high expectations for the county.
“We’re bullish on the region’s future,” he said. “And one of the areas that we have identified as a priority is this Cascade Industrial Center.”
He said that the center will be able to accommodate about 25,000 jobs if it fills up.
Even without federal funds, Nehring and Tolbert said the cities had already been working on developing the area.
A 156th Street interchange is scheduled on I-5 for 2025 and the widening of SR-531 is planned for 2021.
The cities have also been working to quicken their permitting process.
“We’ve been implementing a predictable and streamlined permitting process,” in Arlington, said Tolbert, and Marysville adopted a similar program.
More information about the Cascade Industrial Center is available at marysvillewa.gov/786.