Children's therapy clinic worries about future if Sound Transit builds on site

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Some businesses are pushing back as Sound Transit hunts for a spot to put its new maintenance facility.

KIRO 7 first broke this story on May 9. Sound Transit wants to build another busy maintenance facility, similar to its current one in SoDo that handles about 62 Sound Transit vehicles. When Sound Transit expands to 180 vehicles, it will outgrow the space. It's narrowed its search to three different sites, one of which would force about 100 businesses along State Route 520 to move.

MOSAIC Children's Therapy Clinic in Bellevue is one of them, and Thursday, KIRO 7'S Linzi Sheldon is speaking with parents, kids and the clinic's director about their fears.

The clinic serves special needs children and those with autism, many of whom are on Medicaid. Employees are worried relocation expenses could make it impossible to keep serving people.

KIRO 7 will also be asking Sound Transit what kind of relocation expenses, if any, it would provide for businesses like the clinic and others if it chooses this site.

"Our property is basically right there -- it's going to be wiped off the map," said Shaun Afshari, owner of Persepolis Specialties & Cafe.

His business is in the same plaza as MOSAIC.

"I'm kind of stunned and kind of shocked," he said.

The second site in Bellevue is more industrial, set along train tracks.

The third site is in Lynnwood. It would disrupt Edmonds school district plans for a warehouse and administration building here.

It would also wipe out 14 businesses and it's across the street from the neighborhood where Virginia Long has lived for 45 years.

"I'm sure they could find some place where it wouldn't bother anybody," Long said.

 "There are really very limited options for where we can put a facility of this size," Sound Transit spokesperson Geoff Patrick said.

He said it would actually cost less to build near the neighborhood than around the train tracks in the industrial area.

Patrick said the facility will cost anywhere from $350 to $415 million, depending on the site.

That money comes from a special sales tax in Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties.

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