Who took their eye off the Baden ball? | Letters
March 1, 2013 · Updated 4:24 PM
Well Federal Way has lost another well recognized industrial name. As reported by The Mirror, Baden Sports crawled out of town without anyone noticing.
This is the second major name this past year that has left. Orion Industries is leaving very soon for Auburn. Yes while DaVita dialysis will be bringing some of their staff to Federal Way, some of those jobs will be temporary staffing, and it is not know exactly how many permanent jobs DaVita will create in Federal Way. Baden Sports was not a large-scale employer, but 60,000 square feet of vacancy is noticeable in the city.
So who took their eye off the ball? Was it the city, the Chamber of Commerce? Who? How could a large name business just pack up and leave figuratively in the dark? Could it be that neither the city or the Chamber are engaging with businesses within the city, or have our businesses lost hope in Federal Way? Maybe the city should consider a vacancy notification ordinance for businesses of this size or larger.
Engagement is a problem in developing a vision in Federal Way. Go to a council or school board meeting and wait until public comment is over and you will see what I mean.
Perhaps now is a good time for the city to invest more of its energy in the building of a solid tax and employment base and take a slower track with the development of the PACC and AMC sites.
Perhaps Federal Way should set up an all-volunteer commission separate from City Hall and the Chamber to address attracting new professional and manufacturing business and keeping them here. How many other businesses could sneak out of the city unnoticed?
Federal Way needs businesses that create jobs that will build homes here in Federal Way and business that keep our children here as well.
Randall Smith, Federal Way