Good news for Mercer Island comes in the form of a signature. Mercer Island’s True Value Hardware has a new lease and a new home. The store will move to the Mercer Island Shopping Center into the former Overlake Medical Center, adjacent to Walgreens. The store will remain centrally located with plenty of parking just a few blocks from its present location on 76th Avenue S.E.
Those who follow the City Council’s planning sessions and retreats already know that True Value’s new home is also the focus of a possible re-development into a multi-story building with 30 apartment units and more parking.
The city has hired Lorig and Associates to help design a development package that will include a partnership with King County Metro to provide more parking and commuter services in the Town Center. The parking facility would be funded in part with $7.7 million from Sound Transit in the form of ‘mobility mitigation dollars.’ The payment of ‘mitigation dollars’ was set out in the hard-won 1976 Memorandum of Understanding regarding I-90. The MOA ensured that Islanders would be compensated for the loss of mobility and parking due to the increased use of I-90 via roadway or rail.
If the plan goes forward, it would be a win-win for Islanders. For those who find there is no available parking at the Park and Ride after 8 a.m., it would mean more spaces for those who wish to head to Seattle either at rush hour or in the middle of the day. Or better yet, allow for a number of spaces set aside for Islanders in the Park and Ride and give other commuters parking options in the new facility.
Perhaps those off-Island commuters might stop to do their shopping on their way home or meet friends for a bite before heading back. Such a place would provide shoppers with a place to park and leave their car to go from place to place in the Town Center during the day to run errands, visit the dentist or shop.
Who knew that we needed a place to park before we could walk.