City to host public meeting on proposed arts center (PACC)

An artistic rendering of the proposed performing arts and conference center (PACC) in Federal Way. - Courtesy of the City of Federal Way
An artistic rendering of the proposed performing arts and conference center (PACC) in Federal Way.
— image credit: Courtesy of the City of Federal Way

Mirror staff reports:

An informal public meeting of city center business and property owners and managers will begin at 5:30 p.m. May 23 The Commons Mall across from Famous Footwear. The purpose is to discuss the performing arts and conference center proposed for the former Toys R' Us site on 20th Avenue South.

With a proposed price tag of $32 million, the PACC would be the costliest project in city history if it's built. In March, the Federal Way City Council approved to move forward with a schematic design for the PACC.

Seattle-based developer Lorax Partners estimates that a 700-seat arts center with a 3,000-square-foot conference space could cost about $31.7 million. Preliminary designs include green landscapes and up to 170 parking spots, along with an option to build a hotel.

The city will spend up to $355,000 of Real Estate Excise Tax funds to get the schematic designs made. Also included is the caveat that Lorax Partners, the development group the city has partnered with, will bring any cost saving opportunities to the council over the course of the next several months. The city reports the "total cost of the schematic design development is $950,000, with the balance coming from previously approved design funding and existing grants."

In 2010, the city bought the 4-acre site on 20th Avenue South with a state grant worth $5 million. As a condition, the PACC must be built within 10 years, or the city must pay back the money with interest. The completed project may require a city subsidy of up to $200,000 a year.

According to a city spokesman, Federal Way's goal is to build the project without debt.


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