WSDOT, City agreement secures Cheney Stadium parking

A land deal between the City of Tacoma and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) makes 120 temporary parking stalls at Cheney Stadium a permanent part of the stadium’s available parking. The plan, which was approved by Tacoma City Council on Dec. 13, calls for the City to purchase 1.15 acres of land from WSDOT for $175,000 and provide an easement to WSDOT to provide access to an existing electrical system serving State Route 16.

On Dec. 13, Conor McCarthy, assistant division manager Tacoma’s public works department, told councilmembers that WSDOT acquired the land in 1984 for $57,000 as part of its plan to build SR-16. “Over the course of the project, WSDOT determined the property would be unnecessary for the construction of the project,” McCarthy explained. Since that time, WSDOT has allowed the land to be used for stadium parking. The 120 stalls comprised approximately 27 percent of the available stadium parking.

“Since 2008, the City and WSDOT have been actively negotiating the acquisition of this property and have finally come to terms on what we consider to be fair market consideration of $175,000 based on in-house appraisals performed by the state,” added McCarthy. He noted WSDOT originally wanted close to a million dollars, or seventeen dollars per square foot. “When [WSDOT] eventually conducted a bid sale, they wanted $11 per square foot. The property is assessed at close to five dollars per square foot. So we have been working hard and WSDOT has, too, in the negotiations and challenging each other with regard to the property.”

McCarthy also noted the purchase, which was slated to be finalized by the end of last month, was to be financed through interest earnings from Cheney stadium Limited-Tax General Obligation (LTGO) bonds.