Friday, November 27, 2009

TLHOA shouldn't underwrite TLGCC

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KT Walker makes a great argument in the comments on this article.  The original letter to the editor advocates for taking the deal, but KT's argument against it is far more compelling.

Release: Federal Way wins ‘regional center’ designation for foreign investment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2009


MEDIA CONTACTS
Patrick Doherty
Economic Development Director
253.835.2612


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

Federal Way wins ‘regional center’ designation for foreign investment

Federal Way is the seventh Washington State city to earn a “regional center” designation for its City Center area. The designation, granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), allows foreign investors to apply for an EB-5 Visa and ultimately qualify for legal permanent residency, also known as “green card” status.

Qualifying investors must commit from $500,000 to $1 million* in businesses or developments that will create at least 10 jobs per investor. (*Depending on the unemployment rate in the area at the time of the application.)

The 17-year-old federal program approved only a handful of regional centers across the nation this year.

“This is a potentially great new source of capital investment in our City Center,” said Federal Way Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty. “While foreign investors are free to put their money anywhere in Washington, this designation makes Federal Way an attractive investment location.”

The City sought the designation in response to a growing number of foreign firms, or local firms with access to foreign capital, that have expressed interest in this mechanism to help finance redevelopment projects within the Federal Way City Center.

While many of the regional centers focus on industrial, manufacturing or “brownfields” projects, the Federal Way “regional center” will be designed to foster the redevelopment of the City Center into a higher-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly urban center.

As such, foreign investment will likely be commercial, residential or mixed-use residential projects.

For more information, contact Doherty, 253.835.2612 or patrick.doherty@cityoffederalway.com.

###

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Metropolitan Market Closing

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The Seattle Times is reporting that the Federal Way Mirror is reporting (and now I'm reporting... oy) that the Metropolitan Market is closing at the end of the year.

Not surprised, Federal Way feels more like the Wal*Mart/WinCo crowd.

According to Google Maps, that leaves:

  • Albertsons-SavOn
  • Cash & Carry
  • Europe Food Mart
  • Fred Meyer
  • Grocery Outlet
  • H Mart
  • La Perla
  • Manila's Pride Sari-Sari Store Inc.
  • Marlene's Market and Deli
  • Taj India Mart
  • Top Food & Drug
  • Twin Lake Grocery
  • Safeway (multiple*)
  • Target
  • Trader Joe's
  • Wal*Mart Supercenter
  • WinCo
  • Valley Harvest
*And one of those had planned to close a few years ago only to beaten to the punch by Albertsons on Campus. That Safeway is now being renovated. (The Albertsons remains vacant. 24-Hour Fitness wants to open a big facility there but the property is now zoned so that new fitness clubs have to be much smaller and the city can't make up its mind if it wants to fill the space or let the blight sit.)

With the exception of a few of the smaller places like Twin Lake Grocery, the gas stations and QFC in NE Tacoma, most of the grocery stores are clustered close to Pacific Highway, meaning a large number of Federal Way residents must travel by car or bus to a grocery store of any significant size and the lower prices and greater selection they offer. This is to the advantage of the small independent grocery store (or mini-marts who mostly specialize in junk food and alcohol), to be sure, but not to the average citizen.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Northshore Quality Produce at 21st. and 355. Not a grocery store, it came up on the Google list. I've been there a few times, usually sent for some of the Penny's tortilla chips, but my wife buys a lot of produce there. They are always really friendly and often stuff a "$5 off your next purchase" coupon in the bag and their produce selection is great and always really high quality. (I have no connection to them except as a shopper.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

News: Supreme Court Sides With State In Dispute With Federal Way Schools

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KIROTV.COM -- The State Supreme Court has issued a ruling that dealt a blow to the Federal Way School District. Federal Way Schools sued the state in 2006, saying the way it splits money between school districts is unfair and unconstitutional. In 2007, a King County judge ruled in favor of the district. But in a unanimous ruling issued Thursday, the Supreme Court sided with the state, saying the current system is constitutional. More...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Increased Security at the Transit Center

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The 39-million-dollar Federal Way Transit Center opened in 2006, and with 7,000 people using the facility on a daily basis, it's one of Sound Transit's busiest. After a series of high profile crimes since its opening, Sound Transit has embarked on a new 1-year plan to improve security, augmenting the security patrols with additional officers from the Federal Way Police Department and King County Metro and remote-controlled cameras that are being constantly monitored, along with classical music now being played on speakers at the facility.  If these steps prove successful in decreasing crime at this facility, Sound Transit will implement similar measures at other large facilities.

Read more:

Symphony Longa

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United Properties (Canada) and new partner Lander Korus (South Korea) have been given a third extension to secure funding to purchase the former AMC lot for the Symphony project claiming a longer-than-expected process, but that they were still committed to the project and now have until Dec. 31 to come up with the $6.1 million dollars for the 4.1 acre property.  Read more in the Federal Way Mirror.

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