MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Sound Transit is getting ready for a parking-lot shuffle ahead of a major northward expansion of light rail.
Work on the future Northgate-to-Lynnwood extension will take up the surface lot at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center. To replace 220 stalls there, Sound Transit plans to lease the former Roger’s Market Place property. The vacant supermarket will come down to make room for more parking.
“Sometime in early spring, we’re going to start work on the temporary lot,” said John Gallagher, a Sound Transit spokesman. “That lot will open in early summer. It will have about 235 parking spaces.”
A Sound Transit Board committee authorized a lease Thursday. The contract with the company that owns the market property is capped at $1.1 million and could run through 2020. Of the total, $240,000 will reimburse the landowner for demolishing the old supermarket. Roger’s Market Place closed in 2016 after the death of owner Roger Bottman, 75.
The boxy commercial building dates from 1951, the era of many of the rambler homes in surrounding neighborhoods.
The property sits in the city’s downtown area, at 56th Avenue West and 232nd Street SW. Community Transit buses, including routes 810 and 871 to the University District, already stop there on the way to the Terrace Transit Center.
“We think that a number of people who park there are actually going to be taking the bus to UW,” Gallagher said. “For them, it’s going to be a bit of an advantage because the bus will be right there and they will be getting on a little bit earlier than they would be normally.”
The market property is only the first of two temporary parking lots Sound Transit plans to use before light rail’s expected arrival in mid-2024.
For the second phase, Sound Transit intends to buy a cul-de-sac on 59th Place West, next to the Terrace Transit Center. The agency is working to acquire several homes that would be demolished.
King County Councilwoman Claudia Balducci, who heads the System Expansion Committee that authorized the lease, asked Thursday if it was necessary to spend money on two separate temporary parking areas. CEO Peter Rogoff told her the arrangement was needed because of the time it has taken to acquire the cul-de-sac area. Rogoff said the situation is “emblematic” of the acquisition process elsewhere in the region.
Sound Transit also intends to lease parking spaces near Lynnwood Transit Center when construction displaces parking areas there.
Lynnwood Link Extension would open four new stops along the I-5 corridor north of Seattle, in Lynnwood, Terrace and Shoreline. Light-rail service is scheduled to reach Northgate in 2021.