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Jun. 8, 2014

Federal Way City Council Approves Performing Arts/Conference Center Project in Unanimous Vote

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Federal Way is set to see a new development initiative, as the city council recently decided to authorize construction of a new performing arts and conference center in the city’s downtown. The measure passed through a unanimous vote this past week, most likely as a direct result of a study conducted by the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which showed that the proposed facility would accelerate the development of the area. The estimated cost of the performing arts development project stands at around $32 million.

When constructed, the 700-seat, multipurpose facility will reportedly create a new, more dynamic environment in downtown Federal Way, the investigation revealed. According to the Mayor’s Panel, the development process would generate around $59 million in spending and about 338 new jobs. And the ongoing operations would generate approximately $3.2 million in new spending each year.

The auditorium would also create a new cultural hotspot in South King County, allowing touring acts and performance series to reach an area of the state that has not had access to those types of events. Set to offer a total of approximately 43,500 square feet of space, the building will be located on a four-acre, elevated plot of land in the vicinity of the Federal Way Transit Center and would offer views of Mt. Rainier. The performing arts center will also double as a conference center, with the capability to host local and regional business retreats and workshops. The development initiative will also include a hotel that would be developed by a private entity.  

The site had been owned by the city since 2010, when it used state funds in a purchase deal worth approximately $5 million. The city council then authorized a conceptual design phase, and in 2013 went on to the project design phase, the development of the pro forma and the application for land use permits.

Image courtesy of federalwaypacc.org

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