503-Stall Parking Garage/Transit Oriented Development Project About Ready To Begin In Burien

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by Ralph Nichols

June’s grand opening of the new Burien transit center at SW 148th Street and 2nd Ave. South did not mark the end of transit development in the city’s downtown business district – just the end of the beginning.

Now work on a long-planned two-phase Transit Oriented Development project in Burien is about ready to begin. Phase One will be construction of a 503-stall parking garage on Metro’s existing 4.3-acre Park and Ride lot at the northeast corner of SW 150th St. and 4th Ave. SW.

King County “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD) projects incorporate multi-family housing and retail and office space together with parking for commuters who ride buses, usually in a single complex, as part of or adjacent to Metro transit centers.

Burien Economic Development Manager Dick Loman says groundbreaking for the parking garage will take place by January, if not sooner, with completion anticipated by the end of 2010. He notes that the King County project “is on King County land, with major funding coming from Sound Transit and King County Metro.”

Funding sources will include about $14 million from Sound Transit’s Proposition 1 ballot initiative, which voters approved in November 2008, and another $5.3 million from federal stimulus grants, along with an additional equity investment from Wasatch/Alliance, the joint venture that will develop this project.

“We want Phase Two to follow immediately,” Loman says. “We want to start work on Phase Two financing as soon as Phase One is underway.” Funding for Phase Two, which is estimated at $60 million, will come from a combination of federal, state, Metro and Burien sources.

Plans for Phase Two of Burien’s TOD include more than 100 affordable housing units, primarily for seniors and teachers in the Highline School District, and retail space. Loman says the housing and retail will wrap around the parking garage.

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6 Responses to “503-Stall Parking Garage/Transit Oriented Development Project About Ready To Begin In Burien”
  1. Keith says:

    So they are going to bulid a parking garage/residential/commerical space right where the current park and ride parking lot is?

    Is it smart to add more housing and commercial space when the new condo/retail space a block away isn’t selling at all?

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  2. Joe says:

    Are you going to have to pay to park?

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  3. tripC says:

    The major difference being, this housing should be more affordable. A perfect fit for seniors, teachers, and young professionals just starting out who would benefit from transit being close. With the addition of this type of housing, comes the need for more retail, and services. This is the basis for the ‘urban growth’ idea of planning, with density as its core theme. Projects of this type help to add diversity, and allows people from all income levels to benefit from the new developments in Burien. This city, and region will only continue to grow, and it is smart to take the funding offered, and direct the coming growth in prudent ways through planning around ‘town centers’, and transit.

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  4. Hal says:

    It would be nice if they built a light rail station as part of the parking garage

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    • tripC says:

      I too am hoping projects like this in Burien will help push for light rail to, and through Burien, W. Seattle. Perhaps a loop back to Seattle?

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      • Joe F says:

        tripC, you’re absolutely right–light rail to Burien is a great idea and it is in the cards. Sound Transit has studied the prospect of a Burien-Renton line, intersecting the main north-south line in Tukwila, and it’s probably the next project they will build in South King County once light rail reaches the Pierce County line. In the long run, it definitely makes sense to link up White Center and West Seattle with a Burien rail link that heads downtown over the West Seattle Bridge.

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