A new sign taped to the doors of Freighthouse Square says the building is closed to people walking to or from the Sounder train.
That didn’t stop dozens of people filing through Tuesday, even as owner Brian Borgelt was airing his grievances.
“It’s like a war zone,” said Borgelt, describing the construction and lane closures around the historic building he has owned for four years. “People are having trouble getting in and out.”
Borgelt said that Sound Transit, which has operated the Sounder station adjacent to Freighthouse Square since 2000, doesn’t have an easement and that he and shop owners are not being adequately compensated for construction of an Amtrak station going in at the site.
He said that few people who get on or off the trains stop at the building’s shops and that the building still has to pick up the tab for cleaning up after them.
Sound Transit has a permanent easement for Sounder riders to walk through Freighthouse Square, agency spokeswoman Kimberly Reason said Thursday. An Orca card vending machine and a Sounder ticket machine are installed in the building.
Borgelt took issue with the Washington state Department of Transportation for construction going on at the site hurting businesses there.
WSDOT railroad spokeswoman Janet Matkin said the signs Borgelt put up, and his grievances, are more toward Sounder riders than the state.
“We’ve been working closely with the owners of Freighthouse Square to assist the merchants and to make sure that the construction impacts are as small as possible,” Matkin said. “We’ve provided signage and promotions for them, so we’re trying to be a good neighbor. That’s our goal.”
Borgelt says that the bureaucracies he’s dealing with are passing the buck, all the while not giving him or shop owners adequate compensation for the disruptions they have foisted upon him.
“We’re being faced with the arrogance of immunity,” Borgelt said. “Nobody’s responsible for this.”