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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sound Transit will raze Federal Way megachurch to erect rail facility, board decides

The Federal Way Light Rail line from Angle Lake to Federal Way has been under construction for two years.  (TONY OVERMAN/Tacoma News Tribune)
By Craig Sailor (Tacoma) News Tribune

A Federal Way megachurch will be razed to make way for Sound Transit’s latest light rail maintenance facility that will one day serve Tacoma, the agency’s board ruled Thursday.

When Link light rail reaches Tacoma in 2035, trains will use an operations and maintenance facility located between South 336th Street and South 341st Place and between Interstate 5 and state Route 99. It will be on the route from Federal Way to Tacoma. That line has yet to break ground.

The site is now occupied by the Christian Faith church. The church, formerly known as Christian Faith Center, was founded in 1980 in South Seattle by Casey and Wendy Treat. The $58 million, 2,500-seat Federal Way location was opened in 2007. The church has another location in Mill Creek.

Church leaders were aware of the possible condemnation of the church, Sound Transit spokesperson David Jackson told The News Tribune earlier in June.

The facility will store and service about 144 light rail vehicles for the Tacoma and Federal Way extensions. It will employ 600 people, Sound Transit said.

“Due to land constraints, we had limited options before us for this new Operations and Maintenance Facility,” Sound Transit Board member and King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer said in a statement. “I believe this is the most cost-effective decision we could make as good stewards of taxpayer dollars. At similar facilities, the average employee wage is $45 an hour – that’s more than $85,000 a year.”

The OMF South, as it’s called, would open before the route to Tacoma and require 1.4 miles of connecting elevated mainline tracks from the southern terminus of the Federal Way Link Extension (FWLE) now under construction. Those track extensions would one day serve as mainline tracks for the Tacoma Dome Link Extension (TDLE).

The 66-acre site would include three primary buildings, storage tracks, a training track, yard areas and approximately 480 parking spaces.

The estimated cost to build the facility and tracks ranges between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion. The project will now advance to final design work and construction. The facility should be operational in 2029, Sound Transit said.