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Sunday, July 11, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
Speedway could be big break for landowners
By Emily Heffter
For the 29 property owners with parcels on and near the 750-acre site, the speedway could be their big break. Some landowners have tried and failed for years to get the land rezoned for industrial development.
While individual homeowners on the site say they'd rather not move, much of the site has been purchased in the past two decades as investment property. Land consultant Richard Moultrie represents several large landowners on the proposed track site. He said ISC's interest in the property won't change land values significantly, but it would help investors sell land they've been sitting on in many cases for more than a decade.
"The market never moved up there," he said, "The big market that would have utilized those properties."
Some of the major landowners include:
Ed Hansen, former Everett mayor, now director of the Snohomish County Public Utility District. He and three others share a stake in 135 acres.
Gigi Burke of Arlington, who co-owns Crown Distributing, a company with 100 acres next to the site. Burke is a member of Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon's Citizens Cabinet.
Kirkland developer Bill Binford and Kevan Kvamme, who hold stakes in Smokey Point Boulevard LLC, which has 90 acres. Last year, Binford helped form a group of business owners to push for completion of the 172nd Street interchange and other planned improvements to the Marysville area.
The estate of Bellevue developer Eugene Horbach, who died in January. The estate owns 78.5 acres of the site.
Retired dairy farmer Al Steiner, whose family owns the most land 182 acres on the site. One of Steiner's daughters still farms a portion of the property. Steiner is in his 80s, and his four children are divided over whether the family should sell the land, said his daughter, Mary Anderson.
Hansen invested in his portion of the land about 15 years ago along with members of his law firm.
When the investors bought the land under the name Shoultes Partnership as a retirement investment for their law firm, they thought they would develop it within a year or two.
"I think that might be one of the dumbest moves I've ever made," Wells said.
If ISC decides to build here, Wells and other owners may finally see their investment pay off.
Emily Heffter: 425-783-0624 or email@example.com
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