Federal Way Mirror


PACC update: Funding and designs are moving along

Federal Way Mirror reporter
July 19, 2013 · Updated 8:50 PM

One proposed plan for the Performing Arts and Conference Center, also known as the PACC. / Courtesy image

The Federal Way City Council got an update on the schematic design for the proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC).

PJ Santos of Lorax Partners and Wendy Pautz of LMN Architects were on hand for the presentation at the July 16 meeting. Along with this, Joann Piquette of the Federal Way Coalition for the Performing Arts (FWCPA) gave a brief update on that group’s fundraising efforts so far.

On both the design and fundraising, things are proceeding smoothly, according to Santos and Piquette. The $32 million project is slated for the vacant Toys R’ Us site on 20th Avenue South in the city center.

“We have a really big team, this is a very complex project,” Santos said. “This project has a richness and a depth to it, that deals with the acoustician to civil and mechanical engineers.”

Santos reviewed a number of “guiding principles” that are informing his team as they’ve worked on the schematic design in recent months, including: creating a new cultural and civic center for Federal Way, enhancing the urban fabric of Federal Way, having the PACC serve as a catalyst for development in the downtown core, and so on.

One new addition to the plan that has come up since work began is a space “we’ve essentially carved out because of the volume of the lobby at the lower level,” Pautz said of what Santos essentially termed a VIP room that could lead to donors on a yearly basis. “This space provides an amenity for patrons of the auditorium.”

Santos and company will be back in September with a completed schematic design, he said. On the fundraising side, Piquette said the FWCPA is planning to hold a combination fundraising rally/concert sometime in November. People are starting to reserve their pledges, Piquette said.

“We just created a pledge form last week, and we’re just beginning to collect pledges. We have one two-star seat ($2,500), one four-star seat ($10,000), and one of the meeting rooms ($50,000) has been reserved,” she said. “If you had your heart set on naming the plaza ($250,000) or the orchestra pit ($150,000), too late, they’re already reserved. These are wonderful things and we’re seeing progress.”

So far, the city has access to nearly $16.3 million for the project, including a recently secured state grant for about $2.3 million. The city hopes to make up the difference with a New Markets Tax Credit worth up to $7 million in a best-case scenario, along with about $6.3 million in best-case scenario fundraising through naming rights and grants. The city has also promised to build the project without creating debt because the funding plan requires raising the construction money upfront.

To learn more, visit www.cityoffederalway.com/pacc.


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