The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013, 10:07 a.m.
In Our View / Everett's hotel deal


A matter of time, money

Seattle fans know the feeling: groaning as their team snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
Political partisans have experienced it: shaking their heads as a front-runner trips on his tongue and sinks in the polls.
And many railbirds have endured the torment: muttering as a favorite in the fifth race at Emerald Downs finishes out of the money.
When you're rooting for something, you hate to see it fade away.
Our city, our county and our region have seen plenty of promising projects go the way of delay, entropy and eventual abandonment. We could recite the list, but why rip bandages off old wounds?
One unfulfilled ambition is a plan to construct a 156-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in downtown Everett. The optimistic expectation is that nearby Comcast Arena would ensure business at the hotel -- and a nearby hotel would stimulate attendance at the arena.
Under a deal with the city, the project is supposed to break ground by the end of this month, but it has not achieved liftoff. Touchstone Corp. of Seattle has only $7 million of the $27 million needed to finance the development.
In the coming days, the Everett City Council must choose among three options: give the developer a year's extension, force Touchstone to pay the city $1.1 million for the land (which has been part of a swap), or cancel the project outright.
To weary ears, Mayor Ray Stephanson's support for an extension may sound like a familiar death rattle. Here we go again, desperately hanging on to a losing proposition. But, in this case, an extension seems reasonable.
The hotel is planned as an EB-5 immigrant investment project. This 23-year-old federally supervised program would allow Touchstone to solicit $20 million from people outside the United States. Forty different investors could pony up $500,000 a piece and, in return, receive residency papers for their (presumably) well-heeled families.
The catch? The project must create jobs; in the case of the Courtyard hotel, it needs to create 400 jobs.
In recent months, the federal government has taken steps to clarify -- meaning, to complicate -- what investors must do to qualify for the EB-5 program and how job creation should be measured. So, projects depending on this kind of financing are bogged down.
Worst case scenarios? The logjam can't be cleared up in time to salvage Everett's hotel project. Or, under stricter interpretation, the project no longer qualifies as an EB-5.
It will take time to sort out these questions and, for now, Everett is in a position to grant that time.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet highlights

Lofty potential for drones
Lofty potential for drones: Aircraft could be used in real estate, other businesses
A community of kindness
A community of kindness: Seahawks home a display of affection for couple's daughter
Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (7 new photos)
Super snacks
Super snacks: Best finger-food recipes to make for the big game
SnoCoSocial