Preliminary design released for LFP Town Center Parking Garage

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Garage plan of the view looking down onto the structure, with north (and Ballinger Way) at the top. Courtesy Sound Transit

By Tracy Furutani

A “very preliminary” set of drawings of the proposed Lake Forest Park Town Center commuter garage were presented by representatives of Sound Transit at the LFP City Council Committee of the Whole meeting on November 9, 2020. 

These “10 percent design” drawings show a five-level structure situated on the footprint of the current Professional Building (adjacent to City Hall) and the parking lot immediately north. The proposed garage would contain 300 parking stalls.

“There’s still strong support for the parking garage [for commuter use], according to the survey at the open house Sound Transit held in August,” said Paul Cornish, Sound Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit Project Director. He also presented a timeline for the rest of the project, with the final design being finished in mid-2023, and the construction being completed in 2026.

Because of the pandemic and its effect on revenues, Sound Transit is undergoing a “realignment,” during which its Board of Directors determines which projects will continue and what changes to timelines must occur. 

“We’re at 10 percent design and on a hold,” said Cornish, “we will wait for the realignment process as we work with the Sound Transit Board,” and does not expect the project to go further until late 2021. “We have a little time to work on this,” he said.

Garage elevation. The view looking east towards the proposed structure. Courtesy Sound Transit.

Jamie Brinkley, a sustainability planner with Sound Transit, and Amy Shatzkin, Sound Transit’s Deputy Director for Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, presented parts of the Design Criteria Manual (DCM) that Sound Transit uses for its projects, including standards on sustainability, such as lighting efficiency, stormwater management and low-water landscaping.

Other elements that may be considered in the final design are solar power installations, a green roof and walls, and the use of low-carbon concrete.

City Council members peppered the Sound Transit team with questions about the design and its alignment with community values.

“The city has demonstrated a deep concern for the protection of the environment,” said Deputy Mayor and Councilmember Phillippa Kassover. 
“Because of these deeply held community values which include the support of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure as well as mass transit, and the location of this garage, at the bottom of the Lyon and McKinnon Creek watersheds, which is above an aquifer, and within sight of the lakeshore, this Council has been asking a lot of questions about how we can partner with Sound Transit to ensure that the proposed parking garage reflects our common values around sustainability.”

“[The community wants] something iconic and joyful, not something we are putting up with,” said Councilmember Semra Riddle. “We want things to be ‘future-proof’,” she added, so if the need for parking decreases dramatically in the future, “[we] don’t want a derelict large building.” Councilmember Tom French “[encouraged] the project to be so green the region would be proud of it.”

Sound Transit appears to be committed to working with the city on the design. When Kassover asked about the use of cross-laminated timber in the structure, Shatzkin replied that, though that material does not appear in the DCM, she would have her engineers investigate its use in this project.

Council concerns about the height of the structure seem to have been met by Sound Transit. Councilmember Mark Phillips said “[the garage’s] height seems to be in line with citizens' comments about a structure that does not dominate the landscape.”

“We are currently finalizing our municipal code as it pertains to the parking garage,” said Kassover, stating that she intends to hold Sound Transit accountable for following their own sustainability requirements, as well as the city’s rules.

The changes to the city’s zoning code as it pertains to the proposed parking garage will be discussed further at a special meeting of the City Council Committee of the Whole at 6pm on Monday, November 23, on the Zoom platform.


Unknown November 20, 2020 at 9:38 AM  

Leave the town center alone, it works just fine.

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