Bellevue, Redmond, Shoreline, Lynnwood, Kent, and Federal Way, WA

Sound Transit Light Rail Property Acquisitions

Sound Transit is in massive acquisition process to acquire property rights for the light rail expansion.

Posted In — Success Stories |

Services Provided

  • Initial consultation with the client on the acquisition process and rules of eminent domain
  • Review of relevant appraisal reports and other documents generated by Sound Transit
  • Strategic advisement on the best approach to responding to Sound Transit
  • Production of either an appraisal review or appraisal in response to Sound Transits documents
  • Litigation and expert witness services for depositions or court testimony

Kidder Mathews PNW Valuation Advisory team has been working with owners whose property is being acquired by Sound Transit for the Light Rail expansion. Kidder Mathews has assisted numerous property owners in resolving valuation issues from complex permanent guideway encumbrances to onerous temporary construction easements. From the beginning when ST needed a rail yard, we helped achieve successful awards for Beneroya for the former Rainier Brewery site many years ago and Albertsons (Safeway) for their property in the Bel-Red Corridor. Now, the activity is pushing to the north towards Shoreline and Lynnwood, east to Redmond and south to Kent and Federal Way. Sound Transits acquisitions will be continuing for many years to come.

Peter Shorett, president of Valuation Advisory Services

Project Outline

Sound Transit is in massive acquisition process to acquire property rights for their light rail expansion.  These include total property purchases, partial takes, permanent easements for the overhead guideways and sub surface easements for utility or slope retention.  The value of the acquisitions can be very complex and the property owner needs to understand that there are certain rules in acquisition that are unusual compared to typical real estate transactions.  The temporary construction easements (TCE’s) in particular are unique because they encumber property for up to seven years.  That has a significant impact on the use of the property.  While Sound Transit as an agency is trying to protect the public dollar, the unaware property owner might easily underestimate the real impact of the acquisition to the property.


With our understanding of the acquisition process, Kidder Mathews Valuation Advisory team has been able to help property owners achieve property compensation for property value loss when under estimated by Sound Transit.  This is done with fair and reasonable third party consultation, through the mediation process and if necessary, in formal court proceedings.

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