Renton’s downtown transit-oriented development, Metropolitan Place, includes 4,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and 90 apartments above a two-story garage with 240 parking stalls. It is located across from the recently expanded Renton Transit Center.
The parking and apartment development is privately owned and operated by Dally Homes, and King County leases 150 of the parking stalls for park-and-ride use. The agreement between Dally Homes and King County permitted many goals to be met in the development of the Metropolitan Place TOD. Dally created a mixed-use affordable housing project in downtown Renton and King County created new park-and-ride capacity.
Thirty of the 150 park-and-ride stalls are designated for shared use with residents during non-commuter hours; the rest are dedicated for park-and-ride use. Ninety stalls are provided for resident use.
As part of the 30-year agreement to lease park-and-ride stalls to King County Metro Transit, the developer supplies one free Metro bus pass for every apartment unit. The agreement also stipulates that the units be affordable to a mix of incomes. Besides being located next to the transit center, Metropolitan Place is close to a new urban park, retail stores, theater, schools, and restaurants, all in downtown Renton. The building occupies the site of the old Good Chevrolet building.
The 150 park-and-ride stalls opened in 2001 and the 90 apartments on three upper levels opened in 2002. Three businesses occupy the 4,000 square feet of street-level retail space built into the northwest corner of the structure. In a subsequent development in 2004, Renton built a freestanding city parking garage next to the transit center to replace lost street parking and support additional development.
Commuters enter the Metro Transit park-and-ride garage from S Second Street and, after parking, walk directly outside to the expanded Renton Transit Center, which opened in September 2001.
Most of the 150 park-and-ride stalls are on the ground level of the garage, which has ample natural light and air circulation. Additional shared-use commuter stalls and resident parking are on the lower level of the garage, with resident parking separated by a security gate. The lower garage level is equipped with carbon monoxide detectors that turn fans on and off as needed. The detectors eliminated the need for a more expensive ventilation system.
The windows in the corner retail spaces and the grated openings that provide ventilation to the garage are the same size and shape. The repetition of square openings around the ground floor exterior makes the garage less noticeable from the outside and creates an attractive, pedestrian-scale design.
King County Metro Transit has renovated and expanded the Renton Transit Center, located across the street from Metropolitan Place, to include additional parking, a plaza, new bus layover and loading areas, and street intersection improvements. The work also includes new paving, shelters, landscaping, and other passenger and pedestrian improvements in the area. The Renton Transit Center is a joint project between King County Metro Transit and the City of Renton, and cost approximately $4.4 million.
Several private investments are near the Renton transit-oriented development. Across the street from the transit center is Renaissance at Renton, a 110-unit luxury apartment complex. One block south is Burnett Station, a 55-unit apartment complex that opened in Summer 2001. These projects were also developed by Dally Homes.
As a part of a plan initiated by the City of Renton, many street and sidewalk improvements, including a new urban city park at Third Street and Burnett, have been included in the downtown redevelopment.