Interview with Eileen Simmons, Library Director, Everett Public Library; Craig Skotdal, President of Skotdal Real Estate and information from press releases.
Library Photos Reprinted with permission by the Everett Public Library. Library Place Images by Skotdal Real Estate.
Everett, WA with a population a little over 100,000, located about 25 miles north of Seattle has a love story to tell between its local library and the community. Within the downtown area which is slowly recovering from the impact of the economy, one finds a place where the library is the heart of the community. A unique relationship has formed out of the revitalization of this town between the library and a local real estate company, which if you're a library lover after reading this story you might discover that this is a place you want to call home.
The Everett Public Library with a staff of 42.2, one branch, a bookmobile , an outreach van, and a total circulation of around 1,000,000 works hard to live up to its vision "We are Everett's most valuable resource. We expand your world."
The original 1934 library building was designed by Carl Gould, a well-know Pacific Northwest architect. In 1991 a renovation and addition by architects Cardwell/Thomas of Seattle and The Dykeman Architects of Everett restored the original Gould entrance and created a grand, vaulted reading room that provides readers with a view of the Puget Sound, creating a 56,000 sq. ft. library. It is an architectural gem that, 20 years later, still causes to people to comment on what an impressive and welcoming library it is.
Recently celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2009, the Everett Public Library goes beyond providing just the traditional library services of books, story times and computer access by bringing the library out into the community. Either through its bookmobile, book discussion groups or outreach to daycares and nursing homes, as well as having its own coffee shop located on the main floor, this library finds a way to be at the center of its community, wherever its community members work, play or live.
Like many towns across the country, downtown Everett, WA is slowly recovering from the impact of the economy. Coming back to life on Hoyt Avenue, the same street as the library, are new stores, restaurants, the Schack Art Center, the Imagine! Children’s Museum and within the footprints of the library itself a new residential living space.
Library Place Apartments which started construction in 2009 have already seen completion of its first phase of 22 studio lofts and townhouses. Currently working on its second phase, an additional 179 residential units are expected to be completed by the summer of 2012.
Not just any living space, Library Place is doing its part to add to the love of a community and its library that embodies Everett WA. They are doing this though a creative marketing campaign which uses library related images and phrases. Library Place, managed by Skotdal Real Estate developed its marketing campaign around the neighborhood, with the Everett Public Library being its most prominent icon.
Library Place's marketing strategy promotes "design-forward apartments with a literary-twist". They have literally used library related images and wording in almost every aspect of the marketing of this residential community as well as in several features of the building structures. From its streetfront signage in the shape of an open book to bookmark shaped promotional materials to a website with a card catalog navigation design, Library Place's messaging techniques would make any library lover smile with delight.
Yet, Skotdal Real Estate is going beyond simply using a creative library themed marketing campaign by developing Library Place to be a central part of the Everett, WA community, which includes supporting and loving its library. They have formed a relationship with the Everett Public Library by helping to sponso the library's anniversary celebration and will also support its annual Spelldown, a spelling bee for grown-ups taking place later this fall (Photo at left by Thomas Booth).
Library Place wants its future residents to know that living here means:
"At Library Place, it's all possible - and more. You'll find everything in Downtown Everett - a place to dine, to dawdle, to entertain and energize in the company of friends and neighbors - the ideal urban home.
Where you live has a lot to do with how well you live. Situated amidst historic landmarks and up-and-coming destination, Library Place is the ideal spot for those seeking an active, urban lifestyle. Be inspired by your surroundings - from Art Deco architecture to gorgeous natural views. Indulge your literary sensibilities, complements of the Everett Public Library, right next door.
At Library Place, your story can become even more dynamic and meaningful - just turn a page and find out how."
Library Place is a win-win for everyone; for the library, for Skotdal and for the current and future residents of the entire Everett community. This story also stands as an example to other community developers what loving your local library can do for your town's value.
“Transforming Downtown Everett into a vibrant and economically viable urban center has been a goal for our company and our family for over 20 years,” said Craig Skotdal, President of Skotdal Real Estate. “Our commitment to developing Library Place is not just about creating a new apartment building – it’s about bringing people back to the core of the city who will add life to the streets, support local businesses, and help create a sense of community.”
Eileen Simmons, Library Director for Everett Public Library adds that Library Place not only "contributes to the ambiance of the neighborhood, but provides a new partnership for the library."
For more information about the Everett Public Library contact Eileen Simmons at ESimmons@ci.everett.wa.us and if you are interested more about Library Place email them at email@example.com or call (425) 252-6600.
Skotdal Real Estate is currently searching for library artifacts to display at Library Place. Please contact Craig Skotdal at (425) 252-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any items you’d like to contribute. Library Place will be completed in Spring, 2012.
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