Parking-structure costs have climbed to $100,000 a stall, but that hasn’t dissuaded Sound Transit from adding a Kent garage that voters were promised in 2008.
Sound Transit’s financial odometer will soon roll past $100,000 per stall to provide parking garages for its growing clientele of park-and-ride customers.
The agency says cost estimates have soared to $65 million, compared with the previous $35 million, to add as many as 550 spaces by 2023 at the Sounder train station in Kent, which already has one big garage.
The project will keep a promise made to voters during the Sound Transit 2 campaign in 2008, then deferred during the Great Recession, to boost park-and-ride capacity next to Sounder commuter trains.
Sounder South’s park-and-ride promises
Four projects that voters approved in 2008 are heading toward construction.
Kent Station: A site will be chosen in November for a $65 million garage adding a net 470 to 550 stalls, to open in 2023, with sidewalk and bicycling improvements. Transit staff will display options and answer questions from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at the station, 301 Railroad Ave. N.
Auburn Station: Planning is underway for a garage to be added by 2023. Staff will present options and answer questions from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the station, 23 A St. S.W.
Sumner Station: Sound Transit will build a garage, sidewalks and lighting, adding a net 505 stalls by 2021, for $52 million.
Puyallup Station: Parking capacity will increase by 503 spaces in 2021, in a $60 million project to include car and bike access within a half-mile. Sound Transit filed a condemnation lawsuit in July to compel Puyallup Eagles to sell their lodge.
Source: Sound Transit
The new figures average out to $118,000 a space, though the project includes $3 million for improvements unrelated to parking, such as passenger drop-off areas, new bus shelters, walk and bike paths, and illumination.
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High land prices and a contractor’s market are taking their toll, and the agency aims to surpass the 450 stalls promised in 2008. Transit staff say new Kent figures are based on Sumner and Puyallup parking expansions that will be built sooner. Four sites for the second Kent Station garage are still being studied.