After months of work and discussion between city of Federal Way staff and DaVita representatives, the kidney dialysis company is prepared to move its last 500 employees from Tacoma to Federal Way.
This is not the first time DaVita, a Fortune 500 company based in Denver, has moved some of its operations from Tacoma to Federal Way. In 2013, DaVita transferred some of its business offices to an approximately 125,000-square-foot remodeled building on the former Weyerhaeuser campus. DaVita also has a dialysis center on South 348th Street.
Now, DaVita is moving the rest of its Tacoma corporate offices to Federal Way and plans to build an approximately 150,000-200,000-square-foot corporate office building next to its current location, 32275 32nd Ave. S. The new DaVita building will be situated on an almost 3-acre parcel currently owned by Industrial Realty Group, which now owns the former Weyerhaeuser campus. DaVita also purchased an additional 3 acres from IRG for future plans.
Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said the city, DaVita and Industrial Realty Group have been discussing the possibility for months.
“The main challenge really was where were they going to put that additional building in regard to their current building and how this was all going to work out with the [proposed] 324th interchange,” he said.
In the city’s comprehensive plan, officials included an interchange from Interstate 5 at 324th Street to relieve some of the congestion from 320th Street. Ferrell said, as part of that plan, the city intended to move a traffic circle that’s located in front of the current DaVita building to a new location that would accommodate access to the 324th interchange. The issue, however, was the new traffic circle would be situated in the spot DaVita intends to build its new facility.
Ferrell said it was important for the city to accommodate DaVita while not thwarting plans for an interchange and exit to I-5 at 324th altogether, something that is not likely to happen in the next 10 years.
“So it was really a matter of having the will and finding a way to accommodate this great and exciting development,” he said.
DaVita, on the other hand, is prepared to move its current 500 employees from Tacoma to Federal Way within the next five years.
“The most important thing is reunifying these two large groups of teammates,” Chief Accounting Officer Tim Hilger said.
He said the company also intends to grow its workforce, possibly by more than 100 new jobs in the next five years.
He said the proposed corporate facility is exactly the kind of growth and development ideal for the property and Federal Way.
“This is a big deal for the city, for the community and for IRG,” Ferrell said. “These are great jobs and a great investment for our city.”
Ferrell said not only will the city benefit from 500 additional people working in the city and patronizing its shops and restaurants, but the building will add to the city’s tax base and could also possibly draw other companies to Federal Way. From his understanding, Ferrell said DaVita also intends to add more employees at its expanded campus in the future.
“This is another huge log on the fire that is really going to help our economy in Federal Way to take off,” he said. “It really adds fuel to the Federal Way economic engine.”
Mirror intern Jake Gregg contributed to this story.