Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Facelift for Freighthouse Square

After two years of strenuous conversations over the location of the new Tacoma Amtrak station, the Washington State Department of Transportation is happy to announce that the new location will be located at the historic Freighthouse Square. 

The new station and construction will be necessary because passenger trains will now be using new routes starting in 2017. Instead of the existing station on Puyallup Ave, the new location with be at the to-be renovated Freighthouse Square. The new location will cut eight minutes off travel time for those going to and from the Seattle-Portland stations and will relieve congestion on the waterfront line. Along with these improvements, Amtrak will be increasing the number of passenger trains traveling from Seattle to Portland from five daily trips to seven in 2017. The Washington State Department of Transportation are putting the final touches on the plans and will be advertising for bids in February and are hoping that construction will begin mid-spring. 

So far the plans for Freighthouse square include the middle portion of the building to be demolished and replaced with the new station, on the original footprint. Currently WSDOT is still negotiating details and selling price with the building’s owner, Brian Borgelt. While the process has been rather long and drawn out, Borgelt is hopeful that everything will be settled soon. 

One thing that comes to mind when talking about Freighthouse is all the small business located within the building. Borgelt has made it one of his goals to keep the businesses in the non-demolition location open and viable for business. The businesses located within the breakdown sight have already been moved out in preparation. 

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