Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Press Release: Campaign to attract new businesses to Federal Way launches Sept. 1

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2008

MEDIA CONTACTS
Patrick Doherty
Economic Development Director
253.835.2612 or 206.854.4300

Linda Farmer, APR
Communications/Gov. Affairs Mgr.
253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Campaign to attract new businesses to Federal Way launches Sept. 1

A campaign to attract new businesses to Federal Way, whether by relocation, expansion or establishment of satellite offices in the city, will launch Sept. 1, Labor Day.

The campaign "Federal Way: For Businesses on the Move" will include direct mail, ads and a short video in addition to other services, such as city tours and a resource center with an up-todate database of available office buildings and facilities.

The campaign is funded through a public-private partnership that involves the City's Economic Development Office, the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, and local building owners and leasing agents.

Federal Way is banking on its strategic location on I-5 between Seattle and Tacoma as well as its proximity to the state’s capitol and to major air and sea ports. The Businesses on the Move campaign will target companies that are looking for affordable rents, modern office buildings in wooded campus settings, favorable tax rates and a readily available work force.

"Launching this business campaign on Labor Day was a conscious choice," said Patrick Doherty, Federal Way's economic development director. “Our city has a lot to offer both executives and employees, and we think companies that are feeling the pinch of rising rents elsewhere should take a fresh look at Federal Way."

In addition to its central Puget Sound location, the city also offers:

Affordable, available office space. Currently, Federal Way has about 500,000 square feet of vacant office space, averaging $20/sq. ft. or less. This compares with office space in Seattle and Bellevue that averages $35/sq. ft., and about $25/sq. ft. in Tacoma. The recently announced layoffs at Weyerhaeuser headquarters may make additional office space available in future months.

"In addition to attractive leasing rates, Federal Way executives value the city's access to Sea-Tac International Airport and there are many hotels available to their customers," said Mark Clirehugh, senior vice president, GVA Kidder Matthews/Tacoma. "The city is viable as both a commercial market and a residential one, which you don't see everywhere in Puget Sound."

Companies that draw a large percentage of their employees from the South Sound would be prime candidates for opening a satellite office or branch in Federal Way. Companies can save money on rent, and employees get a shorter commute which can affect productivity over time.

Modern office buildings in park-like campus settings. The City’s forested settings might surprise those who aren’t familiar with areas outside its main shopping districts. Most of Federal Way's available office space is attractively sited among lush stands of deciduous and evergreen trees. Modern class A buildings with generous banks of windows optimize both natural light and views of the scenery. Convenient, free parking abounds.

Favorable tax environment. With no business-and-occupation (B&O) tax or employee head tax as well as competitively low property taxes, the cost of doing business in Federal Way is one of the lowest in the region.

Readily available work force. Although the city is home to more than 55,000 residents of working age, only about two-thirds of those are employed in town, leaving a built-in pool of skilled workers who would be interested in new jobs in their home town. What’s more, the recent Weyerhaeuser lay-offs mean that hundreds of skilled workers living in and near Federal Way are an additional source of experienced employees for new businesses.

Affordable housing, great recreational activities. Federal Way, the state’s eighth largest city with a population of 88,040, offers affordable housing and was recently listed as an "up-andcoming" neighborhood in the May issue of Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. With more than five miles of Puget Sound shoreline and more than 825 acres of parkland, the city offers a variety of recreational opportunities, from hiking and biking to fishing and walking the beach.

For more information on Federal Way’s Businesses on the Move campaign, contact Patrick Doherty, 253.835.2612 or bizonthemove@cityoffederalway.com. Additional information can be found at www.cityoffederalway.com/bizonthemove starting Sept. 1.
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View the original press release (PDF).

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