July 7, 2022

What’s new in Puyallup, Sumner and Lakewood?

There’s a lot going on in Pierce County’s bustling communities. In this issue of Onward, economic development managers from the cities of Puyallup, Sumner and Lakewood provide a roundup of what’s new and upcoming.

You’ll note a trend. Business and multi-family housing are booming, and new projects are changing the landscape.

Meredith Neal, City of Puyallup: “Companies and workers are choosing to be here.”

    • New businesses are multiplying. Puyallup has seen confirmation, with a significant upside, of the “great resignation” that came out of the COVID pandemic. In 2021, Puyallup issued 1,263 new business licenses and Neal expects to see similar numbers this year. Compare that to 2019 (the last “normal” year), when the city issued 306 new business licenses. There’s also a spike in home-based businesses shifting to small office space. To meet growing need, several downtown buildings are converting unused second floor spaces into individual offices.
    • Headquarters are moving in. Quality of life and employee attraction and retention factors are bringing more companies to Puyallup. Builders Capital, a leading private lender for residential, construction and other loans, recently moved its HQ operations and 125 employees from Seattle to the Benaroya South Hill Business + Technology Center.

Red Dot Corporation will arrive from Tukwila in the fall when the global HVAC manufacturer relocates its headquarters, manufacturing operations and 200 jobs to the new Puyallup Corporate Center on East Main St.

  • Multifamily housing is soaring. South Hill and downtown are hot spots for higher-density housing. There are 754 multifamily housing units in various phases of coming online.
  • New facilities will address skills gaps. As a silver tsunami of skilled workers retires, two Puyallup-based solutions are in the works:
      • The Construction Industry Training Council (CITC) of Washington is building a new apprenticeship training center in the Valley Business Center. Classes are slated to begin this fall. The CITC South Sound Campus will feature 32,556 square feet of training space and offer carpenter, electrician, HVAC service installer and plumber apprenticeships.
      • The new Pierce College Puyallup STEM building is expected to be completed next year. The 54,500-square-foot facility will include 8 teaching labs, a fabrication lab and collaboration space, 9 classrooms, and more.

Meredith’s picks for summer fun in Puyallup: Puyallup Farmers’ Market, Concerts in the Park, Washington State Fair.

Ryan Windish, City of Sumner: “It never slows down here.”

    • Industrial tenants keep coming. Duke Sumner Logistics Center will be the home to the new Washington market distribution center for Platt Electric Supply. The wholesale supplier of electrical products will be the sole tenant in the 190,000-square-foot warehouse. The center will have 45 employees.

Nordstrom is preparing to move into the SeaPORT Logistics Center. The 500,000-square-foot distribution facility will bring 77 jobs to Pierce County. Once complete, SeaPORT will have 2.7 million square feet and 8 buildings.

    • Commercial footprint is expanding. The freeway-visible industrial commercial zone in north Sumner is now home to Dobbs Peterbilt. The Sumner location marks the first Peterbilt dealership designed and constructed from the ground up. It’s also their western region headquartersTriad Machinery is also moving into the neighborhood. The Pacific Northwest leader in forestry, cranes and construction equipment will also relocate its operations to the same location.

Oxbow Urban Kitchen, built by The Old Cannery owner David Radcliffe, is slated to open this fall. Just across the street from the destination furniture store along the bow in the river near the bridge, the restaurant will offer upscale American food.

    • Multifamily projects are sprouting. In east Sumner, more than 285 units are planned, including a 160-unit development on the old Windmill Gardens site. (Fear not, green thumbs. The iconic Windmill Village is still thriving.)

Downtown, the Dobbler Management Company still plans to develop 180 multifamily units and 4,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space on the old Red Apple property. Dobbler has also has plans for a 6-story, 123-unit riverfront development on Fryar Avenue within walking distance of Sumner Station that will offer mountain views and access to the White River.

    • Grants will grow business and dining options. The city dedicated $320,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars for business grants. Applications are now in review for three grants that aim to:
      • Fill vacant space in historic downtown. $100K in business tenant improvement grants were made available for businesses to come to or expand in Sumner.
      • Give foodies more options. Downtown restaurants are an economic driver, and Sumner wants more options and variety. Two $60K restaurant grants will provide seed money to help make that happen.
      • Bring in food trucks. A $100K grant will help establish a commissary kitchen to enable more food trucks to operate in East Pierce County.

Ryan’s picks for summer fun in Sumner: Rhubarb Days & Vintage Market, Music Off Main and Ryan Night Market, Sumner Classy Chassis Car Show

Becky Newton, City of Lakewood: “We’re excited about what’s new and what’s coming.” 

    • Housing is hopping. A 600-unit multifamily/townhome project near Lakewood Station is in the works. Two townhome projects slated for Lakewood Station District have been approved under the city’s Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) Another proposed multifamily housing development, which would be the first Downtown Subarea mixed-use project, has also applied for an MFTE.
    • Redevelopment projects are moving forward. Four parcels were recently sold in the 30-acre Lakewood Landing, a property previously owned by JRD Pierce, a private ownership. The new mixed-use development is located within the Lakewood Station District at SR512 and Bridgeport Way SW. The first phase of the development will focus on ecommerce.

Previously contaminated properties are also finding new life. A 90-unit multifamily unit is slated for the former Swan property. A long-vacant Chevron station on Gravelly Lake Drive has been cleaned up and the property is under contract for sale. The site is expected to be a retail mixed-use project.

    • Downtown is rallying. Despite the pandemic, several businesses are opening downtown, and more are on the horizon, including new restaurants, retail and Catapult Adventure Park. There’s also potential for more green space and a downtown park.
    • Major industrial zone keeps growing. A total of 2 million square feet of space is built or under construction in the Woodbrook Business and Industrial Park where Amazon opened its 472,000-square-foot distribution center last year. A toy manufacturer will set up shop in a 160,000-square-foot space in the American Lake Logistic Building, and another 200,000 square feet is available for industrial and light manufacturing.
    • The city is spreading the word. Two new websites spotlight why Lakewood is a great place to do business and an awesome destination. Check out the Build Your Better Here and Nearcation

Becky’s picks for summer fun in Lakewood: SummerFEST, Summer Nights at the Pavilion Concerts, Lakewood Farmers Market

 Watch for updates from the cities of Fife, University Place and DuPont in an upcoming issue of Onward.


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