Business

Transit-related development set

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

The Federal Way City Council has approved a transit-oriented development agreement with Sound Transit that governs timelines for retail development and sets the conditions for conveyance of two properties between the city and Sound Transit if a developer can’t be found.

The agreement is designed to ensure transit-oriented development — coffee shops, dry cleaners or restaurants that compliment public transit — is developed on two parcels of land immediately east and west of the transit center and parking garage that are being built on South 316th Street and 23rd Avenue South.

The agreement adopted by the council last month is similar to an earlier version, but with a few revisions on the request of council members. While the revisions represent little more than legal tweaking from the perspective of shoppers or commuters, one provision will affect them directly.

Sound Transit agreed to put $1 million toward construction of 21st Avenue South between South 316th and South 320th streets. In exchange, the city will provide the remaining funding for the road, estimated to be just under another $1 million, and will waive any further development fees related to 21st Avenue for Sound Transit.

The extension of South 316th is expected to make it easier for traffic to navigate downtown Federal Way, particularly once the center is operational.

Sound Transit also agreed to make some parking spaces in the garage available to businesses or the city through a market-value lease, though the agency can terminate the lease upon 90 days notice, officials said.

In addition, Sound Transit agreed to dedicate experienced staff to the project and to provide a night security plan for the transit center and parking garage.

For its side of the agreement, the city will waive standard permit fees for the transit-oriented development projects, as well as State Environmental Protection Act requirements if the tdevelopment is consistent with a pending city-conducted environmental review that will apply to all developments in the downtown core.

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