Fences, coats, trucks, paper and milk — what do these things each have in common?
They’re all the focus of major businesses joining or expanding into the Federal Way business community, contributing to hundreds of thousands of square feet being developed over the next two years as the city experiences another business growth spurt.
Here’s the rundown on some of the major players expanding their operations in Federal Way.
All City Fence
Seventy-year-old security and fencing company All City Fence opened a new branch on the north tip of Federal Way last month, forming its new southern headquarters.
Located at 27802 Pacific Highway, the 12,000-square-foot remodeled facility trades in wooden and metal fencing and other security materials for DIY homeowners and business owners.
The business is open for material sales, but there’s a little more work left to be done, President-Owner Rick Koch said. They’re still finishing a yard for vehicle storage, building a 4,000-square-foot fabrication shop, and finishing paving, fencing and gating around the property. They aim to have that work done around the fall 2023.
The location is “a diamond in the rough,” Koch said.
The move should lead to 30 new jobs created at the Federal Way facility, Koch said. In addition, a large storage facility is under construction just south of their property on Pacific Highway, and a large apartment complex is under development to the immediate north.
The formerly Seattle-based company moved out of the Emerald City for greener pastures in Federal Way and Lynnwood, and Koch said it will provide a greater opportunity for material sales. Koch said they’re pro-police and first responders, and so they also wanted to base the business in a political climate more supportive of law enforcement.
“What prompted us to move was the problems with the homeless around our other location in (south downtown),” Koch said. “It’s exhausting, to keep our area clean. … The other (reason) was the anti-police attitude (in the city). And the last thing was that the property values were just too high.”
Twenty acres of hilly land northeast of the Interstate 5 and South 320th Street interchange is under construction to become a massive Pape Kenworth Northwest facility, employing an estimated 80 people.
The new facility, slated to open by the end of this year, will include a 64,000-square-foot truck maintenance building with room for an office, showroom and warehouse, and a 15,700-square-foot body shop. They’ll be selling and leasing new and used trucks and other equipment. The site will feature a 14-bay semitruck drive-through service center, and include part sales and a body shop.
The project will bring an estimated 924 additional weekday daily trips (about a quarter of those from trucks), and will include road improvements on 32nd Avenue South from the property line to 320th Street, according to city documents. The city recently expanded its boundaries to include the area the company is moving into, Mayor Jim Ferrell said.
Mitch Hatfield, general manager for the company’s Northwest region, said the company was looking for an upgrade from their “really old” building in SeaTac, and Federal Way made sense. The location is affordable and accessible to the company’s mechanics, who can live as far away as Covington, and its perch over I-5 gives the company a lot of exposure to potential customers via freeway traffic, he said.
Smith Brothers Farms
Based in Kent, Smith Brothers Farms is expanding their operations locally.
Located at the intersection of 9th Avenue South and South 344th Street, a new dairy and produce distribution center is under construction and will open this spring, according to a spokesperson.
Twenty acres of the property will be home to a 4o,000-square-foot warehouse for storage and distribution of dairy products, plus some office space.
The company will transfer around 100 existing employees from its Kent and Tacoma operations to Federal Way, according to Smith Brothers.
Woodbridge Corporate Park
Construction of the first two buildings planned for Woodbridge Corporate park is nearly complete at the former Weyerhaeuser campus, owned since 2016 by Industrial Realty Group.
The buildings will be completed and ready for lease in May and June, according to Woodbridge.
Asked whether the buildings have any tenants confirmed at the new buildings, Woodbridge released this statement: “We continue to have active conversations with potential tenants about leasing at Woodbridge.”
Construction of the new corporate park will create 780 temporary jobs, according to IRG, and the agency estimates the campus will generate 3,100 permanent jobs and $6.8 million annually for the city once the campus is complete.
The discount West Coast grocery chain Grocery Outlet plans to move in to the former Metropolitan Market building across the street from Lakota Middle School.
The Met Market in the Dash Point Village shopping center closed in 2009. The upscale grocery store’s exodus left behind 65 employees and one of the few places for residents in the northwest section of Federal Way to easily get groceries.
For nearly 15 years, the roughly 33,000-square-foot building in Dash Point Village, located at 1618 SW Dash Point Road, has sat empty. But not for much longer. Work crews are developing the inside and exterior of the building, and a large banner outside heralds the opening of the new grocery store, though it’s not clear when the store will open. Grocery Outlet had not returned the Mirror’s request for comment as of press time.
A handful of new stores are headed to Federal Way’s iconic mall.
Groundbreaking at the Dick’s Drive-In facing Pacific Highway started November, and the restaurant is projected to open its 9th location there in June. The company has said the store will create about 50 jobs.
Burlington (formerly the Burlington Coat Factory) is listed as a future tenant at the mall next door to the new Amazon Fresh and Daiso stores. In his State of The City address, Mayor Jim Ferrell said the store is expected to open in either the third or fourth quarter of this year.
Several attempts to reach The Commons management went unanswered, and The Mirror didn’t hear back from Burlington in time to learn more.
Other development at the mall includes three new “pad” sites, or free-standing buildings, totaling 16,000 square feet at the mall, which will be able to serve new businesses and restaurants.