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SeaTac Sustains Robust Growth
The City of SeaTac, WA, enjoyed outstanding success with commercial real estate and economic development in 2010.
Even in the face of a continuing recession the city proved to be an attractive location for a wide variety of new businesses. Tens of thousands of square feet of vacant space was leased and many new jobs were created in the city. A new hotel is under construction and several new restaurants opened, reflecting the expanding appeal of the community.
“Each new business increases the retail, service and dining opportunities for residents, employees and travelers in the City of SeaTac,” said Jeff Robinson of the City of SeaTac. “We are pleased that so many companies added to the diversity of our community and increased the opportunities for jobs and revenue within the city.”
These new businesses represent almost every sector of the economy ranging from retail and service to warehousing, distribution, light industry and hospitality. One of the properties currently under construction is the Hampton Inn and Suites, the first new hotel built in the city in the past decade.
“This will be our fourth hotel in the City of SeaTac,” said Faruq Ramzanalli of Hotel Concepts. “We are very impressed with how every department within the city works with developers. They are extremely friendly and knowledgeable and we are on a first-name basis with everyone there.”
WallyPark has operated parking garages to serve Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac since 2003. A new premier parking garage opened in November 2010 that is a mixed-use property with retail and commercial space on the ground floor.
“We are pleased to bring a new standard of airport parking to the Puget Sound area,” said Charles Bassett, WallyPark’s chief operating officer. “Our third location represents our long-term commitment to providing travelers with a convenient, world-class parking experience.”
New retail stores include the Cinco de Mayo Market, International Market and Saran African Market. A new O’Reilly Auto Parts is under construction, and a new AutoZone is in the permitting process. Among the new restaurants to open their doors are India Pabla Bistro, Tacqueria El Rinconsito and Las Palmas, a Salvadoran restaurant.
“I want to bring something new to the community,” said Jose Paulino, owner of Las Palmas. “We have a large population in SeaTac and our surrounding neighborhoods that will appreciate our menu.”
The Department of Homeland Security consolidated and expanded some of its operations to the City of SeaTac. New tenants in our warehouse, distribution and light industrial sectors include NW Crane Worldwide, Denali, Stat Medical and Europa Sports.
“It is very gratifying to be able to give our customers in the Northwest even better service than before,” said Eric Hillman, CEO of Europa. “SeaTac is strategically placed on the I-5 corridor, allowing us to serve our customers more efficiently, providing them an even higher level of service.”
Finally, the United States Government is searching for several hundred thousand square feet of office space to house the regional FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) headquarters.
“The City of SeaTac is pleased to have four viable locations that have been proposed that fit all of the FAA’s initial requirements; most importantly those related to transportation options for FAA staff and visitors,” said Robinson. “We will continue to work with the property owners and development teams to do whatever we can to secure this important economic development catalyst.”
Looking ahead to 2011, a number of new hotels and mixed-use projects are in the planning stages and the decision of Sound Transit to move forward with the accelerated light rail extension to the southern border of the city will help spur redevelopment in the not-too-distant future.
SoundTransit Expands Light Rail in Seattle
SoundTransit is undertaking several extension projects for its light rail system in the Seattle area.
East Link is Sound Transit’s voter-approved project to build light rail between Seattle and Overlake Transit Center in Redmond. SoundTransit is also conducting environmental review on the future extension between Overlake and downtown Redmond. The Sound Transit Board of Directors has identified a preferred East Link alternative with eastside stations serving Mercer Island, south Bellevue, downtown Bellevue, Bel-Red, Overlake, and downtown Redmond, connecting to Seattle via I-90.
By 2030, East Link light rail will connect the Eastside’s biggest population and employment centers, serving up to 50,000 daily riders on one of the region’s most congested travel corridors.
University Link will serve the three largest urban centers in the state of Washington—Downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University District. By 2030, the University Link line alone is projected to add 70,000 boardings a day to the light rail system.
University Link is a 3.15-mile light rail extension that will run in twin-bored tunnels from Downtown Seattle north to the University of Washington, with stations at Capitol Hill and on the University of Washington campus near Husky Stadium.
University link construction is being paid for by a combination of federal grants, MVET, and local sales tax (.4%). The total cost for University Link is $1.9 billion.
Sound Transit has completed the Environmental Impact Study, real estate acquisition and final design work on University Link. Construction began on the two stations and tunnel track in 2009. Construction will continue over the next seven years until University link opens for service in 2016.