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PARTA gets OK for Sign Package at Transit Center

Downtown project includes retail, commercial space on first floor

PARTA's Kent Central Gateway transit center under construction in downtown Kent easily cleared another planning process hurdle Tuesday.

The Kent Planning Commission voted to approve a comprehensive sign package for the retail and commercial tenants who will occupy an anticipated 18,000 square feet of the massive parking garage and bus transit center.

The project's architect, Quentin Petersen, of Arizona-based TranSystems, said they opted for the comprehensive sign package to create a consistent look for the retail tenants' signs.

Kent planning engineer Jennifer Barone said projects that apply for and gain approval for a comprehensive sign package must adhere to it as approved by the planning commission because it negates the city's sign codes.

"The code allows for different sizes and numbers," she said. "When you go for the comprehensive sign package it ... overrules those requirements for a zoning district."

The comprehensive sign packaged received a certificate of approval from the Kent Architectural Review Board in October.

Bryan Smith, director of planning for PARTA, said they have had interest in the commercial space in the project — which includes 10 bus bays and close to 400 parking spaces — but the transit agency will not start looking for tenants until early 2013.

Smith said first they have to issue a request for proposals for the commercial spaces because it is a publicly owned building.

"The request for proposals will go out early in 2013," he said.

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