Burien’s Planned Transit-Oriented Garage Gets Approval From County

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This Story has been updated since first being posted Monday, July 19]

by Ralph Nichols

A joint funding agreement for a $20.5 million Burien Transit Center parking garage was approved on July 19 by the King County Council.

The agreement for Phase I of the city’s Transit-Oriented Development project now goes to the Sound Transit Board of Directors for final action on July 22.

If Sound Transit directors OK the plan as expected, “construction should start before the end of this year,” said Linda Robson, communications director for County Councilwoman Jan Drago.

Drago, who represents the Burien area on the council, was not available for comment following the action.

But, Robson noted, “Sound Transit agrees to contribute $14.73 million for construction to expand the facility as promised … lots is happening in a couple of days to get us closer to breaking ground out there.”

And with approval of the funding agreement by Sound Transit, “ground is expected to be broken in early fall, probably by late September,” according to Burien City Manager Mike Martin.

“We’re thrilled the project is at last going forward. It will be a real asset to the city.”

Earlier this year, the county council approved a ground lease of Metro Transit’s park-and-ride lot at the northeast corner of SW 150th St. and 4th Ave. SW to Alliance Wasatch I, LLC.

Alliance Wasatch will build the five-story, 500-parking-stall facility, with a sixth level underground, at that location.

The council also approved at that time a lease back to the county of the parking facility upon its completion.

Alliance Wasatch I and Metro Transit submitted on July 7 an application for an administrative design review of the Transit-Oriented Development project.

If approved by the county, construction on a new, multi-story transit-oriented parking garage could begin this fall.

That application “is the culmination of over a year of intensive work on the part of … staff with the developer and King County to refine and detail the design for the multi-phase, mixed-use project,” Martin told the Burien City Council.

Phase I – the multi-story parking garage – is “the primary focus of the design review process, which should be completed by Aug. 12,” which will be followed soon by applications for construction permits.

Martin said construction of the garage – which could also be used for evening and weekend parking by patrons of a multiplex cinema proposed for Burien’s Town Square at the southwest corner of SW 150th St. and 4th Ave. S – is expected to be completed about a year after groundbreaking.

“We’re looking forward especially to the second phase, which will provide affordable housing in the downtown area,” he added. Phase II, with retail as well as residential development on the southern part of the property, “will commence when the economy improves.”

Temporary transit parking during construction of the garage will be located at the old BBC Dodge site at 1st Ave. S. and SW 148th St.

Preliminary plans for Phase II of the Transit-Oriented Development call for construction of approximately 100 affordable multi-family units on the outside of the five-story parking garage. Retail and office space will be located on the ground level of the facility.

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2 Responses to “Burien’s Planned Transit-Oriented Garage Gets Approval From County”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Burien City Manager Mike Martin says, “…It will be a real asset to the city.” Does anyone know of a link for the preliminary designs for this project? I’ll reserve judgment until I see the final designs. As yet, I don’t know of many cities that rave about their parking garages. Also, will the affordable housing units be similar to the vacant condos at Town Center or will they be more Section 8-type? Any information or a link is greatly appreciated.

    • Pauline says:

      Take a look at the transit garages in Federal Way, Kent, Renton, and other citiies. It’s probably going to be something like that.

      At one time I heard that the affordable housing would be targeted for folks like first-year teachers, etc. — folks just starting out that would like to live near their jobs but can’t afford it. But that was a while ago — I haven’t heard anything lately, but I doubt the whole project would be Section 8 housing — I think governments stopped building “the projects” years ago and prefer to mix Section 8 housing in with other types of housing.

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