Scene in Edmonds: Value Village, no more

Like many other businesses at the onset of the pandemic, the Value Village at 21558 Highway 99 in Edmonds closed; many shoppers hoped it would only be temporary.

Friday, a peek through the windows showed an empty store, the outside sign covered in black wrapping.

A quick online search showed the store status as “Permanently Closed.”

Goodbye, 50% colored tag sales.

The remaining Value Village locations are in Lynnwood, Everett, Redmond, Marysville and Woodinville.

— Story and photo by David Carlos

39 Replies to “Scene in Edmonds: Value Village, no more”

  1. What a wonderful opportunity for the community. I think this building is owned by a public entity but cannot get the details from the Assessors Office at this time. But if it is publicly owned then it could very easily serve as a shelter until the owner develops a longer range plan. One of the best uses for it would be to be a shelter for the unsheltered students in the ESD. The last report I saw was something like 24 kids are unsheltered.

    City had homeless dollars in budget and so do other communities that are served by the ESD. Pooling these resources would go a long way to actually addressing a real need in the community.

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    1. County Assessor says that it is owned by :PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT 2 SNOHOMISH CO 4710 196TH ST SW, LYNNWOOD, WA 98036-5517

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      1. Thanks Ron, I could not get scopii to open, but that is who I thought owned it. Our tax dollars already flow to this organization and they are deeply involved it the community. The price for the motel was simply too high and this at least for a while has no intended use.

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    2. Darrol – what an awesome example of possibility-thinking on your part. Using this property as part shelter and part something else is inspiring. Great idea.

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  2. Great idea Mr. H. Right building in the right place maybe? Cold weather shelters will soon be a big need again. Even temporary use might be an option?

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    1. Clint, when school reopens the kids here will need to be transported to their respective schools. The bus service could make this the first stop on their way to the route serving and then drop them at their respective schools. At night it would be the last stop before putting the bus away at the bus barn. While school buildings are closed, it can be the work from “home” center. Teachers could actually drop by and work with the kids. It is not often we have such centralized facility to help the community owned by an agency set up to help the community.

      If we put on our thinking caps and all work together in the spirit of “Kindness” we can make a difference. We should not however use Orange paint in any way!

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  3. I’d love to see this space leased by the city as a multi service center and maybe an auxiliary location for the food bank. Ron – thanks- I’m really glad to hear the location is owned by the hospital district.

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  4. There are several problems with the idea of making Value Village a location for those in need, and they will
    certainly come if this site if made available to them. First is the hospital and surrounding grounds that will be a problem for that hospital and clinics to manage. It already is at this time! Then we have two places where
    the elderly and infirmed live and are cared for on the back side of Value Village. Again, where will those in need go after lunch is served to them. They cannot roam about, sitting anywhere in that location as they do now. And then if you up the street further, you come to 73rd Place, and still being in the hospital’s location, you now find yourself in a very busy spot of many
    apartments/duplexes and homes. And then take a left and got up the hill on 215th and you are but a few blocks from Hwy 99, and now in an area zoned for residents.
    We now have some homeless folks wandering up/and down 215th and other local streets. We have had folks ‘living’ in a vacant house, along 215th/76th, and we finally shut it down. I have worked with the homeless before and just know that a better place is needed then the current Value Village location. It creates immediate problems that just need to be taken care of before it becomes worse.

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    1. These are good points about how already problematic is that location. Maybe with some vacant spaces opening up in downtown Edmonds, there would make a good location for a shelter or food bank.

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  5. To get around the NIMBY issue for homeless folks this project could be helpful in the lives of the 24 unsheltered school kids. It will take several years to decide what might be the future use of this land, so for those years of planning we can help some kids get through school and go on or get jobs. These kids would not likely create the issues described.

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  6. I think you might assume that most of the unsheltered school kids are not orphans so really it’s about families. That works in vacant spaces (there growing) in Downtown Edmonds too, where of course there is no NIMBY issues.

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  7. Vacant space that becomes available should always be considered not matter where it is. When it is under some form of public control all the better, reduces the cost. We should also consider vacant land especially when it is public. In this case, Building, land, large parking lot, right on public transportation, central to a lot of south Snohomish county. Seems like a future permanent use is years. Let’s just give some thought to some use that can benefit the public. We are paying taxes to the agency who control this property so we may even be able to have them use our taxes for some alternative use. Creative thinking can make a difference, especially in this case.

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  8. Public Hospital District No. 2 Snohomish County (PHD2) owns the Value Village building and property. This is a governmental entity with taxing authority. They also own the Swedish Edmonds Hospital buildings and property with Swedish renting the buildings and equipment under a 30 year lease agreement starting in September 2010. PHD2 is also known as the Verdant Health Commission, their health and wellness program. The PHD2 commissioners (the five elected officials) have expressed their interest in South County Fire purchasing and developing the Value Village site for a fire station. I believe these negotiations are ongoing, and I imagine this will happen.

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    1. That’s interesting info; thank you. With the City of Edmonds owning the three stations now within Edmonds, adding a station owned by South County Fire would very likely cause an increase in the city’s contract with SCF.

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    2. Thank you for this update. Where did you get your information about the fire station? We looked through all of the meeting minutes for the hospital district and couldn’t find it. But from what we did find, the minutes, it looks like the previous director of the hospital district and the commissioners want it into something like what people are talking about. Is there a meeting about this?

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  9. The old Senior Center was used routinely for a homeless cold weather shelter in the past and the plan is to use the new Waterfront Center for the same purpose in the near future. People in need were (are) bused in from other areas of South County. The Edmonds Bowl area is the home of the Edmonds food bank headquartered at United Methodist Church near downtown. An award winning facility serving the whole of South County for decades.

    It’s strikes me as a little unfair for some here to make the Bowl area the alleged center of NIMBY sentiments in South County. There are a tremendous number of very good people in the downtown Edmonds area, trying to make life a little better for the less fortunate and using some of the proximate real estate to do it. They are commonly labeled “do gooders” by some. but they soldier on. “The Bowl” doesn’t own the NIMBY label in Edmonds.

    I totally favor some sort of public/private regional center for the needy, substance addicted, and past incarcerated to get back on their feet. Until that happens it will be piecemeal with concerned people doing the best they can, where they can, when they can. Others will just complain about nothing being done.

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  10. The possible uses for Value Village were discussed at Verdant’s September 26 special meeting which started at 10:10am, item number 8 on the agenda. There are no minutes to that meeting yet since the board has not met to approve them. Their next regular meeting is Oct. 28.

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  11. Thanks Carl. I have made a public records request with South County Fire regarding their capital plans. When I get it I will create something, somewhere to let folks know what is projected in the plan. I know from the Fire Study Edmonds did earlier, we could give better service with fewer stations, if they were more strategically located.

    Verdant has ownership in several sites around here. They clearly have ideas of how they would like to use these sites both now and in the future. What would be nice is for the public to take a informed and engaged look at what this public agency is thinking about. We are paying taxes but often take little notice of “what are the plans” until something comes to the table like Value Village.

    If as one has suggested that VV is going to have more failures then the other nearby site in Lynnwood which is located in a mall setting will also become available space.

    I will sort our the SCF plan and find a way to summarize it for MEN readers.

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  12. Being a profit making business, not a non-profit as I’m sure many assume, Value Village must have been paying a pretty good sum of money for renting this property from the PHD2. That must represent a loss of public funding that might have to result in some tax consequences for the general public to replace that income? I would think that would be a factor in all this too. Ron’s comment also address this issue I think.

    It really is time to get all the public and private movers and shakers in South County to put their heads together to figure out the most economical and practical ways to address the mounting social problems in our area. Read the police blotter column, if you have any doubt about what I’m saying. It’s replete with mail theft, domestic violence, elder abuse, fraud, petty theft, substance abuse and vandalism. I’m increasingly seeing “Bowl” location addresses in this column so we all must own it to make it better. Covid is a temporary complication, but it’s affects will be long lasting too.

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  13. Or perhaps a combination police and fire station. It appears that much of the crime and social problems Edmonds officials deal with on a daily basis are occurring in this general area. Lynnwood and Edmonds seem to frequently swap their services in the area too. Maybe both police agencies could share the building for a more visual constant presence? Just random thoughts.

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  14. According to the hospital district website’s budget, they get $331,000 a year in rent from value village and $2,427350 in property tax levy. They have $55 million in reserve and will pay off the bonds at the end f this year.

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  15. The rent for the Value Village site is not surprising concerning it’s square footage and location is on a major arterial roadway. It’s kind of naiveté for those hoping that it was going to become a “magic gumdrop and lollipop free place”, instead of remain an income producing asset. There is a property tax levy because the Public Hospital District provides needed services to the community which are not again a “free lunch”.

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  16. Thank you Carl, the packet has a list of several options for the site and some analysis of each. There seems to be some political support to sell to the South County Fire folks. I recall that any type of sale requires some sort of opportunity for other govt entities to buy at a discount from the appraised value. Edmonds could step up to the plate, buy is now, use use it temporarily for something, and the sell it later for and likely make money if it does not have an intended use. The data seems like a good price for the property and keep it in the hands of the public. Because Edmonds would have control of the property it could be a really great bargaining chip in the question of how do we provide fire service in the future. We could continue to use SCF as our service provider or we could do as Woodway has done and work to contract with Shoreline. The cost model may well be better with Shoreline. That’s what Woodway found out.

    Thanks again Carl, really good stuff!

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  17. Where does Edmonds get the money to buy the building? There would have to be more bonding I would presume. Does Edmonds City really want to be in the real estate speculation game?

    Woodway residents have figured out it is much cheaper to pretend to be a city and contract out services, than it is to actually be a city and provide in house services. Woodway is really just a neighborhood with HOA’s disguised as city code. Maybe that’s the tack Edmonds needs to start taking with police and fire services? We are definitely on the cusp of turning city code into disguised HOA type rules. Of course we would need someone to be as benevolent to Edmonds as Edmonds has been to Woodway over the years to accomplish this.

    Just remember when you hit me with the “we prefer kindness” meme for writing this, that the guy behind the current “kindness” signs, that are all the rage, is the same guy, who as Mayor, wanted to try to annex Woodway. That guy was right then and he’s right now in my opinion. And, I think he is a very good guy.

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  18. This is digressing, but what we really need to do is take all of the communities that comprise the Edmonds School District – Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mount Lake Terrace., Brier, and Woodway – and create one, much more efficient, city.

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  19. Toss in Esperance and it would make really great city. This is really a good model for the future. We could then have a full time council, complete with zones and eliminate many of the duplication issues. It would make for a more cost effective govt.

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  20. Maybe we can talk Woodway into annexing us and farming everything out to Shoreline? We did fire so why not police too? We would expand our sphere of influence into King County too; where all the action is.

    Seriously though, I think Ron and Darrol both have the right ideas here. Making the entire Edmonds School District into one big city could bring about lots of consolidation of efforts in all the important areas of public management. Perhaps a huge savings of tax dollars in just administration alone. There is already a great deal of overlap in services, even to the point of waste management issues.

    Big digression here but; If political polarization continues as it has been; regionalism in general may become a real thing just in terms of being able to survive the chaos. I could see, for example, the left coast blue states becoming a public option health region. (In some ways Kaiser Permanente is already playing that role). Especially if the SCOTUS now guts the affordable care act, which will probably happen.

    If we can’t start agreeing on some basic ideas to make life more high quality for all, I don’t see how we can avoid some realignments of political influence and borders. What the realignments are and what they should be is the big, big question to be answered as we soldier on.

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  21. Value Village Update — the Verdant board of commissioners met this morning (public meeting), and discussed possibly using the Value Village building/property for a cold weather shelter (short term). Apparently the cities of Edmonds and Lynnwood, and the County are interested in that possibility. More work to be done there. Discussion with South County Fire continues I believe.

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    1. I suspect some Edmonds civic movers and shakers are having severe second thoughts about using that shiney new waterfront facility as a CWS for the homeless. From past personal experiences as a volunteer, I can tell you any CWS venture anywhere is very serious business with potential land mines everywhere in the process. Even pre covid it was a public health crisis looking for a place to happen.

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      1. How right you are, Clint! Even to get the permitting and repairs done to make it allowable for a CWS probably won’t happen this year. Let alone hiring qualified staff to run it and oversee qualified volunteers.

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  22. My thought on this issue is about controlling the situation to protect the elderly folks living across the street from Value Village and, up the street on 76th Street. It is important to draw these two facilities into this discussion before long. They too have a long-standing position on such matters and need to become part of the solution.

    And this also goes for those of us on 215th St. as we have occasion to have folks sneaking into a vacant property at the top of 215th/76th and living there until found out by the police.

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