The Downtown Everett Association embarked on 2021 with a slate of projects and optimism for our downtown. With the persistence of the global pandemic, we continued to adapt and creatively support our community. As a newly designated Main Street Community, we joined a network of 35 other towns across the state for resource sharing and best practices.
Supporting businesses was a top priority. We launched a new digital gift card featuring over 30 businesses. We updated our retail and restaurant guide and created videos highlighting downtown and our business community. Our team strived to understand Covid protocols and shared funding and other resources with our businesses. We even found creative ways to host Halloween while striving to keep families safe and engaged with our local businesses.
Downtown events started coming back throughout the summer and fall. We saw people eager to come out and connect with others. Downtown enjoyed a variety of events – Fisherman’s Village, Sorticulture, Upper Left Beerfest & Food Truck Festival, Cruisin’ 2 Colby, and Wintertide. Event organizers made a heroic effort to adapt to ever changing protocols and situations. Our volunteer committees worked tirelessly on projects to enliven downtown. Over 125 volunteers planted and maintained the flower pots throughout the summer. As we moved into winter, our design committee led expansion of the holiday light program. We partnered with the City of Everett to bring power to more street poles, which lit up three more blocks with holiday decorations! We were delighted that the lights stayed on through the winter and we started planning more holiday lights for next year.
We welcomed new residents to the Marquee Apartments and anticipate more residents moving downtown in 2022 with the completion of Hodge’s Building and Nimbus Apartments. Keeping downtown clean and safe for our residents, workers, and visitors is a top priority. We completed the first year operating our own in-house Clean Team. Our crews rose to the occasion keeping downtown clean and being friendly faces out in the community, whether it was a frigid January day or record setting summer heat and smoke. Our garage field crew managed the city-owned Everpark Garage and maintained it as a convenient option for parking as more people returned downtown. We can only imagine what downtown would look like without all our field crews’ consistent daily presence. Expanding our revenue base through the Main Street B&O tax credit program and our partner organization, Downtown Everett Partners (DEP), was a major achievement last year. The IRS recognized DEP as 501c3 charitable organization last year, providing a way for the community to make tax-deductible donations. New funding allowed us to expand programming and plan for more initiatives in 2022.
We are champions and advocates for our downtown stakeholders through economic development, public safety, historic preservation, business support, and event promotion. I am inspired by our staff and volunteers’ accomplishments this year, and I am excited to work with the community as Downtown blossoms into the future.
Sincerely,Liz Stenning Executive Director
DID Everpark Garage Main Street Tax Credit Donations Donations & Sponsorship
DID Everpark Garage DEA Programming Marketing & Events
As more employees returned to the office in 2021, the demand for parking at Everpark Garage grew. While occupancy has not reached pre-pandemic levels, we’ve seen an increase from 2020 occupancy and the garage is nearing the early 2019 rate of monthly parking permit sales.
garage occupancy by monthly permit sales
clean team services
In December 2020, the Everett City Council approved the renewal of the Downtown Improvement District (DID) through 2025 with the addition of the 2500 block of Colby Ave. Services on that block began January 1, 2021. Along with the increased service area, our in-house Clean Team improved service tracking and response through the implementation of Fulcrum, a GIS-based software for field data collection. While we did see a marginal decrease in tagging year-overyear, the Clean Team cleaned or removed a total of 1,937 tags in 2021.
avg. graffiti tags cleaned 164 or removed per month vs. 730/month average in 2020 vs. 170/month average in 2020
avg. bags of trash emptied per month vs. 657/month average in 2019 vs. 125/month average in 2019
26th St Everett Ave California St Hewitt Ave Wa
In addition to Everpark Garage and DID management programs, the DEA runs a number of business support, public realm, and community-building programs, including the Downtown Flower Prorgam, Holiday Lighting Program, and downtown community events.
In 2020, the Downtown Everett Association expanded programming to include a Downtown Flower Program. The City of Everett announced that budget shortfalls forced them to cut its flower program in April 2020. Our board decided that the program was too important to downtown economic development to allow it to end, and we launched a pilot flower program the following month.
The success of the Downtown Flower Program in 2020 enabled us to continue and expand the program in its
second year, running the program a month longer and adding two dozen planters for a total of 254. In late March, three dozen commuity members assisted us in prepping the planters on Weeding Day. On May 1, 2021 more than 125 volunteers joined us for Downtown Planting Day, planting 3,000 flowers across 12 blocks of downtown.
Our seasonal employee, Josiah, returned to water the plants; volunteers adopted the planters, keeping them weeded and well-maintained throughout the summer. Volunteers from Fluke Corporation spent their annual Day of Caring in October helping us remove the annual plants and prepare the planters for the cold months. Thanks to generous donations from the community, we were able to purchase flowers for the 2021 program. Financial contributions to the Downtown Everett Partners are critical to keeping the Downtown Flower Program growing and thriving for years to come.
The Downtown Everett Association’s 40 board and committee members volunteered 1,665 hours in 2021 (a 58% increase over 2020!), and hundreds more were volunteered by the 150 community members who joined us for our second annual Downtown Planting Day and adopted planters over the summer.
Out of all these volunteers, one in particular had a significant impact on our outreach and promotions efforts. Danielle Lothrop has served on our Board of Directors and Promotions Committee since 2018. She was the driving force behind us creating our promotional videos and has been instrumental in building the Promotions Committee since its inception. She put in well over 50 hours of volunteer time last year while parenting, running Toggle’s Bottle Shop with her husband, and serving on the board for the UW Bothell School of Business. We’re so grateful we get to create a healthy, vibrant urban core alongside Danielle - our 2021 Volunteer of the Year!
Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program donations allowed us to hire topnotch support from BERK Consulting to develop a high-quality three- to fiveyear Strategic Plan. BERK also generated a Landscape Scan, which provides the most complete economic picture that Downtown Everett has ever had. The full strategic plan is available on our website at downtowneverettwa.org/ strategic-plan or via the QR code at right.
holidays & events
Though we were unable to host our Annual Downtown Trick-or-Treating event for the second year due to Covid, we were still able to create a fun, engaging, and safe downtown celebration. In partnership with downtown businesses, we developed a Halloween Scavenger Hunt and provided goody bags to families who explored Downtown Everett and completed the hunt.
The Holiday Lighting Program continues to grow and glow - we launched the program in 2020 with eight lighted snowflakes and four wreaths at the intersection of Colby and Hewitt Aves. In 2021, we added ten more six-foot snowflakes along Colby Ave. for a total of 18 ornaments. Our wonderful partners, the City of Everett Public Works staff, handled the installation. The decorations are part of the Wintertide celebrations and are displayed each year from the end of November through early February.
Wintertide, historically a single-day event hosted by the City of Everett, was expanded in 2020 into a five-week-long celebration of the holiday season in Everett. The Downtown Everett Association is one of many partnering community organizations helping to spread winter cheer during Wintertide. The DEA hosted Small Business Saturday in 2021, creating and distributing 1,500 downtown shopping guides to encourage the community to shop local for the holiday season. We enticed shoppers into stores by offering free Everett canvas totes – 1,000 bags were given out throughout Wintertide! Since then, the totes have made global appearences; they’ve been spotted in Mexico, Canada, France, Germany, and Austria (that we know of)!
main street community designation
After several years of forming volunteer committees and diving into the Main Street program, we applied for designation as an official Washington Main Street Community in late 2020. Effective January 1, 2021, Everett joined 35 other towns and cities across Washington who have received the Main Street Community designation. Main Street is a nationwide economic development program designed for revitalizing historic downtowns. The model provides best practices in downtown revitalization from communities all over America, which we can now apply in Everett. In addition to the wealth of knowledge available to Main Street Communities, the State of Washington also has a robust Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program (MSTCIP). The MSTCIP provides a 75% Business & Occupation or Public Utility tax credit for private contributions given to designated Washington Main Street Communities, including the Downtown Everett Association. Additional information about the MSTCIP is available at downtowneverett.org/mstcip.