“I am pleased that we have been able to take property that has been unused for 14 years and to provide it with a new purpose,” said King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, who sponsored the legislation. “In selling this property to the city, we are providing a safer experience for municipal airport users and putting a languishing property to good use.”
The legislation stemmed from a collaborative effort between von Reichbauer and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, and was necessary for the city to proceed with the purchase. Funds used to purchase the property came from a Federal Aviation Administration grant to the city of Auburn. “It was a pleasure working with Mayor Backus,” von Reichbauer said. “She deserves great credit for her vision for the airport and her ability to secure the financial support needed to make it happen.”
The County declared a portion of the Auburn Park & Ride to be surplus in 2008. As the surplus property was deemed to be unsuitable for housing, in 2012, a part of the property was sold to Orion Industries, which employs people with developmental disabilities to do aerospace-related metal fabrication.
In 2021, the city of Auburn approached the County about purchasing the remainder of the surplus property to use for runway clearance as the Auburn Municipal Airport is located to the north of the city.