The members of Eagles Aerie No. 2308 in Puyallup have found a new place to call home, but the battle with Sound Transit over their current facility continues.
In 2019, the Eagles will be moving into the current location of Main Garden Chinese Restaurant and Bar at 1106 E. Main in Puyallup.
The Eagles finalized the $1.3 million purchase last month and expect to start remodeling at the beginning of the year. Built in 1978, the 5,200-square-foot building sits on approximately one acre and has an 84-stall parking lot.
The move wasn’t their choice.
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The Eagles are being forced out by Sound Transit, which wants to acquire the current 16,000-square-foot Eagles building located at 202 5th St. NW to build a 500-stall parking garage as part of its $60 million Puyallup Station improvements project.
“Our membership wanted to stay in the (Puyallup) valley,” Eagles spokesman Alan Whipple said. “We didn’t want to leave (our current building).”
The project sparked a years-long battle over the property.
Sound Transit first contacted the Eagles about their building in 2014, with formal negotiations over the cost of the property starting in 2016. In July 2017, Sound Transit filed a petition in Pierce County Superior Court, asking for an order that would hand over the title of the property to the agency, a first step in the condemnation process.
In September, there was an unanimous vote by the Eagles to reject Sound Transit’s offer on the building. Sound Transit would not disclose the offer, but the Eagles said it was far below the appraised value of their building and would make it difficult to find a replacement building.
In April, Sound Transit and the Eagles held a mediation meeting. A second mediation meeting is scheduled for August. If still no decision has been made, the two parties will go to court in October, Sound Transit spokesman Scott Thompson said.
“We haven’t finalized the deal yet,” Thompson said. “We’re very close.”
Construction of the garage is still expected to begin in 2019, with completion in 2021.
Main Garden has been in its location for about eight years. It was the landlord’s decision to sell, said restaurant owner Simon Huang, who had two more years to go in his lease. Now, he’s actively looking for a new location.
“We want to keep the business going,” he said.
Come 2019, Main Garden will be “closing temporarily,” Huang said, adding that he values the Puyallup area for his business and that if he can find the right size building with the right amount of parking, he wants to stay in the area.