Relief on the way for shoppers at Northgate Mall

Jul 28, 2015, 10:02 PM | Updated: May 8, 2016, 10:03 pm

Northgate Mall is expected to lose parking spots to a new light rail station, but the property owner plans to do something about it.

An application to build a new parking structure has been submitted to the City of Seattle’s Department of Development.

The project began in response to Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extention and the Lynnwood Link projects. A portion of the mall’s parking lot will be at least temporarily lost to construction. Some parking will be permanently lost to facilities for the light rail project.

“The purpose of this project is to replace in-kind surface mall parking with structured mall parking in order to mitigate the loss of parking caused by these Sound Transit projects,” the design proposal states.

Simon, the owner and operator of the Northgate Mall, has a contractual obligation to their retail tenants to provide a certain ratio of parking. The future Sound Transit station and condemnation of the southwest corner of the mall’s property “severely compromises” that parking ratio, according to the proposal. There will be “several hundred” parking spaces lost during the 2017-2020 station construction.

The light rail station is expected to begin operating in 2021.

JC Penney is the most directly impacted by the light rail expansion because its western and southern facades and parking will be “severely” impacted.

Though the project is tied to Sound Transit’s work, the focus will be to provide easier parking for patrons on the west side of the mall, according to the proposal.

The preferred design of the parking structure would be a “deck.” The deck would have two levels, each at existing grade, which would eliminate the need for an internal ramp. It would also avoid blocking views to the mall’s retail storefronts.

If approved, the parking deck would add about 700 stalls.

Other options include a four-level structure and a seven-level structure.

The Department of Planning and Development still has to review and approve the project before construction can begin.

What are they building?

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Relief on the way for shoppers at Northgate Mall