Dick’s Drive-In rallying support to save Kent location

Sound Transit might remove restaurant for new light rail maintenance facility

Dick’s Drive-In is rallying its supporters to help save the Kent location from being chosen by Sound Transit as a potential site for a light rail vehicle Operations and Maintenance Facility.

Dick’s, which just opened in December in Kent, sent an email Monday to ask people to speak at the two meetings this month where Sound Transit will take public comment about its six proposed sites, three in Kent, two in Federal Way and one in unincorporated King County.

The meetings are:

• Tuesday March 12, 6 to 8 p.m.

Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, 31510 Pete Von Reichbauer Way South

• Wednesday, March 20, 6 to 8 p.m.

Highline College, Building 8 – Mt. Olympus Room, 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines

“We hope to see you at one of the Sound Transit open house meetings — the number of people who attend those meetings will be counted, and those numbers matter,” according to the Dick’s email.

The Sound Transit Board is expected to decide in May which alternatives should be considered further as part of the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will take about to two years to complete, with additional opportunities for public comment, and then the board will select the site/location to build the Operations and Maintenance Facility. It is anticipated that the new facility will be open in 2026.

Dick’s and Lowe’s are part of the Midway Shopping Center on the southeast corner of South 240th Street and Pacific Highway South. Kent city leaders have told Sound Transit they want the facility built on one of the former Midway Landfill sites.

Sound Transit plans to open a new light rail extension from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way in 2024 and a Federal Way to Tacoma Dome extension by 2030.

Dick’s Drive-In released its key points for supporters to tell Sound Transit:

• Sound Transit would be violating its own mission by placing the 30-acre, late night industrial facility within a transit oriented development (TOD) zone, a half-mile from the planned Kent light rail station.

• Sound Transit would be violating the current zoning of the city of Kent and sabotaging years of planning and preparation in partnership with the city of Des Moines and Highline College for the new Kent light rail station.

• Taking away jobs from the community by removing the current shopping center and destroying the potential for development around the Kent light rail station eliminates any benefit of the jobs added by the Operations and Maintenance Facility.

• The Lowe’s, Dick’s, Starbucks and other existing businesses in the shopping center are an important part of the community on the West Hill in Kent and Des Moines. Taking those away would have a detrimental effect on the communities of the South Sound.

• The South Sound welcomes the Operations and Maintenance Facility when it’s built in the right location, the Midway Landfill.

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