Letters to the Editor

PACC is a catalyst for other opportunities | Letters

The proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC) is expected to cost close to $32 million and would be the most expensive public project in Federal Way history. The project is slated for the abandoned Toys R
The proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC) is expected to cost close to $32 million and would be the most expensive public project in Federal Way history. The project is slated for the abandoned Toys R' Us site on 20th Avenue South near the Federal Way Transit Center.
— image credit: Courtesy image

The primary results are in and I extend my gratitude to the individuals who put their names on the ballot and are willing to represent, campaign and if elected serve.

Of the Federal Way City Council primary candidates moving on to the November election, one unequivocally says the Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC) is worth the risk. The other three candidates expressed their support, but with qualifiers. Not as much leadership as I would like, but at the moment a maybe is better than a no.

To the citizens who express an anti-PACC mentality, my question to you is what do you fear? Are you afraid it might fail? Are you concerned that your taxes may increase? Or are you one of those who believe when government tries to serve the greater good of the community it is an overreach? Do you fear that it might become a valued part of this community?

I am a supporter of the PACC. In terms of economic development, it is an effort designed to alter the course of a stressed part of this city’s central core. Is it a game changer? The answer is no, but it is a catalyst for other opportunities. It will get used, dynamically improve the central core and become a quality of life resource appreciated by the community. Positive impressions of city venues help brand a city, and this will be a facility that builds a presence for Federal Way.

We need to recognize the PACC is a major step forward. With the PACC in place, the city can focus its efforts on other improvements to improve and build a business and retail core that has energy. Collaborating with property owners and developers becomes easier when the city operates as a partner who has skin in the game. It takes investment to attract investment. Quality attracts quality.

If the effort to build the PACC fails, Federal Way will be left without an essential community resource. Then what? What does Federal Way have to offer as an attractor for future development? What can our elected leaders offer to our citizens as an anchor resource and vision to move this city forward?

At the moment, there are several stressed and vacant properties in the vicinity of the PACC’s proposed site generating minimal tax revenue. When there is no investment, there is less growth. A stagnate or shrinking tax base generally means more taxes are required from residents to maintain services.

Build the PACC, change the city’s direction to positive and momentum in Federal Way’s favor will begin. Just remember that economic development is a slow process, but with the PACC as a catalyst, we will look back 10 years from now and wonder why we did not build it sooner.

Keith Livingston, Federal Way

 

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