Sound Transit to rent warehouse space in Kent for light rail projects

Mainly a storage facility for parts, supplies for Northgate, Bellevue extensions

Sound Transit will rent warehouse, office and yard space in Kent to store parts and supplies for its Northgate and Bellevue/Redmond light rail extensions.

The facility, at 6851 S. 190th St., will offer 27,737 square feet of warehouse; 2,263 square feet of office and 43,460 square feet of yard space, according to Sound Transit documents. The lease will total more than $2.7 million over eight years.

The agency currently uses a warehouse in the Sodo area of Seattle, 633 S. Snoqualmie St., that is a little more than 10,000 square feet of space with no yard. Sound Transit staff said it needed a larger space for the Northgate Link and East Link extensions. The Northgate Link extension is scheduled to open for service in 2021 and East Link in 2023.

“This new site provides us four times the space of our existing facility, including a large fenced-in yard that we didn’t have at our current warehouse,” said Sound Transit spokesman Scott Thompson in an email. “The site in Kent was chosen because it was the closest one that met out needs.”

The warehouse will store critical supplies and parts for maintenance activities related to track, traction power, light rail vehicles, signals, supervisory control and data acquisition and facilities maintenance.

The Sound Transit Board in July approved an eight-year, two-month term with an option to extend for an additional five years. Rental rates for the first year are $28,636 per month or $343,630 for the year with estimated operating expenses of $7,431 per month. Rent will increase 3 percent annually, according to agency documents.

Sound Transit pays $8,753 a month for its current location, Thompson said, which it has leased since July 2014.

“We are using the Kent location as a long-term storage facility, so we will have very few full-time staff there,” said Thompson, who added just three to five employees will be regularly on the site. “Most of the employees will float in and out.”

The landlord, Bedrosian Kent LLC, which runs a tile store next door to the warehouse, agreed to provide tenant improvements to the space. Once those are done, Sound Transit will move in later this year.

”This includes several things like a separate electrical and gas meter, new carpet and baseboards in the office area, painting, replacement of ceiling tiles, etc.,” Thompson said. “So we aren’t moving in until all this work is done. We don’t have a specific timeline for completion at this point.”

Sound Transit will begin work next year to extend light rail from Angle Lake Station in SeaTac along Kent’s West Hill to Federal Way for service starting in 2024. The warehouse space in Kent, however, is not related to the Federal Way Link extension, Thompson said.

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