IRG vice president talks Weyerhaeuser campus

Tom Messmer, vice president of special projects for Industrial Realty Group, LLC, reportedly revealed no concrete plans on what his firm will do with its recently acquired Weyerhaeuser campus.

  • Sunday, June 26, 2016 10:00am

Tom Messmer, vice president of special projects for Industrial Realty Group, LLC, reportedly revealed no concrete plans on what his firm will do with its recently acquired Weyerhaeuser campus.

He was willing, however, to once again describe the type of tenant IRG is seeking.

“They want a business there that’s going to be a job-producer – he emphasized that – not a job-replacer but a job-producer,”said Pete von Reichbauer, who represents the Federal Way area on the Metropolitan King County Council.

Von Reichbauer was the host of the private Wednesday breakfast meeting that invited community leaders to hear Messmer discuss where IRG stands when it comes to the 425-acre site at 33663 Weyerhaeuser Way S. in Federal Way.

Messmer’s comments closely echoed those made by IRG when the company purchased the building and the surrounding space for $70.5 million in February. Talking about his company’s plans in front of von Reichbauer’s invitation-only crowd, Messmer satisfied at least one person: von Reichbauer himself.

“Everyone I talked to said he disarmed them with his candor and openness,” von Reichbauer said. “I was impressed by the values he reflected. He talked about the importance of not just keeping jobs, but creating jobs in our region. That’s my No. 1 concern.

“He’s saying all the right things about working together for the region.”

Von Reichbauer said Messmer opened the meeting by asking the attendees what kinds of projects they had heard would occupy the Weyerhaeuser campus, drawing responses that included an education building, a Marriott hotel, residences and an “ice factory.”

While no solid intentions were made public, von Reichbauer said Messmer made overtones of trying to attract tech companies or similar tenants.

“The site is an incredibly unique site for a business park,” he said, noting that the green space and open-floor office potential should be attractive to Millennial-staffed companies who value such work atmospheres. “Our whole world, the one I grew up in, is being changed by the internet. Brick and mortar isn’t as important. The place that [Messmer] envisions will be a product of the 21st century, not the 20th century.”

The Weyerhaeuser campus was completed in 1971 and housed the corporate operations of the timber giant until the building’s sale. Weyerhaeuser announced in August 2014 it would relocate those operations to downtown Seattle, and the skeletal staff that remains in space leased from IRG by Weyerhaeuser will vacate when the new headquarters are complete.

“For the people who think about Weyerhaeuser leaving – Weyerhaeuser left,” von Reichbauer said, paraphrasing a point from Messmer and noting the parking lot at the building lately is maybe a third or a quarter full. “The company, as we think about it, really has left us already.”

More in News

12 Federal Way Public Schools teachers earn National Board certification

The National Board candidacy is a demanding process, and has numerous benefits to students.

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.

Federal Way Chamber endorses Woodbridge Corporate Park as economic engine

Chamber states development on former Weyerhaeuser property will create 3,100 jobs.

Federal Way converts $3M federal PAEC loan to permanent

The council voted 6-1 to turn the loan permanent which will fix the interest rate through the life of the loan.

After being homeless, Christy X (pictured) moved into her Coniston Arms Apartments unit in Seattle at the beginning of 2019. She had bounced around from shelters to friends’ places after facing an eviction at her West Seattle apartment in October 2018. A diversion program run by the nonprofit Mary’s Place helped her find housing. File photo
State lawmakers consider eviction reform legislation

Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, is bill’s prime sponsor.

Federal Way to host ground-breaking ceremony for $3M staircase project

Project will improve the walkability of downtown Federal Way while connecting the PAEC to Town Square Park and the Transit Center.

United Methodist vote has churches’ future in question

Congregations debate separation following gay-clergy, same-sex marriage ban.

Federal Way Public Schools extends application deadline for board director vacancy

Applications will now be accepted through Friday, March 29.

Gov. Jay Inlsee signs into law the Native American Voting Rights Act, which allows a non-traditional address to be used for voter registration for residents who live on reservations. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Native American Voting Rights Act signed into law

Non-traditional addresses can be used for voter registration on tribal lands

Most Read