Pierce Countys business optimism, already ahead of other regions in the state, is spreading.
In Lakewood, the Lakewood Towne Centers redevelopment, which began last year and is scheduled for completion in 2005, has sparked a business revival.
In addition to the 100-acre retail strip mall developed by MBK Northwest, the City of Lakewood has built a new $13.2 million City Hall municipal building complex on the Towne Center Campus.
Adding to the citys economic revitalization is the opening of the Grand Central Casino last month. The 32,000-square-foot complex – which includes a 75-seat Good Fellas Steakhouse, Ripe Tomato Bar and Grill and a Broadway Joes in addition to the gaming areas – adds 100 employees to the Lakewood retail sector. The developers hope the complex will become a popular meeting spot.
The Towne Center and casino add to several other public and private investments, including the proposed Sounder Station, Fire District Station, international commercial center, restaurants and tourism-related facilities.
Together, they are contributing to an optimistic business climate along the South Tacoma Way/Pacific Highway corridor, said Joe Hannan, redevelopment/economic development administrator for Lakewood.
In Puyallup, long-term plans for the economic revitalization of the downtown corridor are starting to pay off.
At the center of it all is a new $2.2 million 13,000-square foot public market and community center in Pioneer Park that is expected to become the hub of community activity when it opens next summer.
The new structure, being built on the site of the old library, will provide the city with a larger meeting place for events and a place to host is popular farmers market. The center will follow the $9.9 million library that was completed last summer.
Already this public spending is drawing other investments, including a new senior center and a public safety building. An expansion of the popular Puyallup Fair is also in the works.