Demolition of Federal Way buildings will make room for light rail

Starting April 20, crews will raze buildings north of S. 320th St. between 23rd Ave. S. and 21st Ave. S.

Demolition of several buildings in Federal Way will begin next week to make room for the Federal Way Link light rail extension, Sound Transit announced Friday.

Starting April 20, crews will begin demolishing buildings to the north of S. 320th Street between 23rd Avenue South and 21st Avenue South. The buildings formerly housed Washington Federal bank and Denny’s restaurant, an Arco gas station and the strip mall where Deseret Industries Thrift Store and Laser Quest previously did business. The work is expected to continue for several weeks.

The Wendy’s restaurant is also going to be demolished at a later date, according to Sound Transit Public Information Officer Scott Thompson. Sound Transit is expecting the business to move out of the current location sometime in May and then the demolition will occur.

Federal Way Link Extension is estimated to open for service in 2024.

The proposed Federal Way light rail route will enter the city at South 317th Street from Interstate 5, crossing the roundabout at 317th before jutting across 23rd Avenue South.

“Sound Transit is demolishing buildings along the Federal Way alignment that would pose a public health or safety concern if left standing,” according to Sound Transit. Demolition work is continuing under CDC, state and local health and safety guidelines for COVID-19.

The area of S. 320th Street will be the site of a new Link light rail station at the Federal Way Transit Center, which will integrate bus and rail service, provide street improvements and add 400 new parking spaces for transit users.

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said he received a phone call from Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff on Friday morning and said, “what I appreciate is their follow through with a promise they made us last fall.”

After the Denny’s location was purchased by the transit organization, the site became a target for graffiti and garbage dumping, Ferrell said. Through a number of discussions with Sound Transit officials, Ferrell said he expressed his concern with these properties sitting empty and idle after accumulation.

“I said we cannot have them be targets of vandalism for the next four years,” Ferrell told the Mirror. “We want to make sure when buildings become vacant, they get knocked down.”

Initiation of the demolition is the first step to Federal Way’s vibrant new downtown, he said, and it also shows an investment in jobs, attracting tourism and a greater connectivity to the region.

“This represents progress, even in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis,” Ferrell said.

For more information on the Federal Way Link Extension, visit