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Federal Way sets sights on business owners

A low-budget marketing campaign kicked off this week to convince business owners that Federal Way has it all within reach.

The city and Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with leasing agents and property owners, will undertake the campaign — called For Business on the Move. The distribution of direct mail, a short video and advertisements will play up the city’s attributes and prompt businesses to think of Federal Way when considering relocation, expansion or addition of a satellite office.

The campaign relies heavily on the city’s ability to offer business owners a central location in combination with low rental fees. Federal Way’s accessibility to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Interstate 5 and ports in Seattle and Tacoma will be touted. So too will Federal Way’s abundance of office space at a price $15 per square foot less than the average Seattle price, and $5 per square foot less than the average Tacoma price.

Federal Way currently has approximately 500,000 square feet of office space available at an average of $20 per square foot. With downtown redevelopment efforts and consolidation, as seen by Weyerhaeuser Corporation, more office space will be available in the coming years. The more space available, the better the price, said Patrick Doherty, director of economic development.

“We are trying to communicate this is a great opportunity for businesses,” Doherty said.

The campaign will utilize a resource center where a database of available office space can be accessed. Additionally, tours of the city will be offered upon request.

The partners will spend $10,000 to tout Federal Way. The small-scale campaign is more of an outreach effort than a marketing push, Doherty said.

“It’s a grass-roots, kind of personalized, approach,” Doherty said. “If we need to go more aggressive, we are positioned to go further.”

For now, the partners will hope that getting businesses thinking about Federal Way will prompt them to consider it for what it is worth — a growing and affordable city, in a prime location, eager to see redevelopment and economic growth. The city is more than what can be seen from Interstate 5, Doherty said.

Many available office spaces are located near greenbelts and landscaping, he said.

“They know what they see from the freeway and don’t realize the office campus setting,” Doherty said.

Corporations may also be missing the fact that Federal Way is full of skilled workers, he said. Many commute outside the city to their jobs. Satellite branches within Federal Way could draw a desirable workforce, Doherty said.

“The city is viable as both a commercial market and a residential one, which you don’t see everywhere in Puget Sound,” said Mark Clirehugh, GVA Kidder Matthews of Tacoma senior vice president, in an Aug. 27 press release.

At least one corporate entity has realized Federal Way’s potential, Doherty said. Though he was unable to provide details, he did say the corporation has shown an interest in the approximately 1,500 recently laid-off Weyerhaeuser Corporation workers. Doherty reminded the representatives that a satellite office in the city would offer an affordable lease.

Contact Jacinda Howard: jhoward@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

Check it out:

For more information on this campaign, contact Patrick Doherty at (253) 835-2612 or e-mail bizonthemove@cityoffederalway.com. Visit www.cityoffederalway.com/bizonthemove to view a list of available office space.

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