The Sound Transit board has approved a new lease for 103 parking spaces it rents from a development next to the train station. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The Sound Transit board has approved a new lease for 103 parking spaces it rents from a development next to the train station. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Free Sound Transit parking is getting costlier in Edmonds

Rent is rising 13 percent for spots Sound Transit leases near the Edmonds Sounder Station.

EDMONDS — A slab of asphalt in downtown Edmonds can cost more to rent than a roof, four walls and a refrigerator elsewhere.

Such is the reality of today’s real estate market and the growing demand for commuter parking.

The price of providing free commuter parking is rising 13 percent for spots Sound Transit leases near the Edmonds Sounder Station.

The Sound Transit board in late June approved a new lease for 103 parking spaces it rents from a development next to the train station. Each stall will cost Sound Transit about $190 a month, a $22 increase.

A standard parking space in Snohomish County is about 161.5 square feet. At $190 a month per stall, that means Sound Transit is paying about $1.17 per square foot.

That’s not much less than it would take to lease an apartment in Marysville, where the average rental is about $1.26 per square foot. But it is more than apartments in Idaho where rent can be found at $0.93 a square foot. Those numbers are calculations provided by the online real estate company Zillow.

Despite the increasing rent for a parking stall, the price is perhaps one of the better deals for space in Edmonds.

The median rent in Edmonds is $2,145 or about $1.69 per square foot, according to Zillow.

In addition to the spaces Sound Transit rents, the agency owns another 156 spaces around the station.

Together, the two lots provide 259 parking spots, and 95 percent of those are occupied most weekdays, according to data collected by the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The new five-year lease has Sound Transit paying $19,570 each month to the Salish Crossing development. The agreement stipulates a 4 percent rent increase each year.

Under the current lease, rent increased 3 percent each year. In the last year of the rental agreement, Sound Transit paid $17,389 per month for the parking spaces.

Nearby lots charge upward of $239 a month for a spot. There are other lots that charge less than $190 a month, but Sound Transit said they didn’t have enough spaces.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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