Mayor’s Memo: ‘The rest of the story’

Read about the vision for the Town Center 3 (TC 3) Redevelopment Plan.

As we embark on the Town Center 3 Redevelopment Plan (TC 3), we are at a hinge point in the history of Federal Way.

This seminal moment marks our commitment to carving out a vibrant and dynamic city center that reflects the needs and aspirations of our citizens. We are celebrating a new beginning in our downtown with the removal of a blighted empty building in the heart of our city.

We began this journey nine and a half years ago. We designed and built the heart of our downtown, our beautiful Town Square Park. With the help and support of our community, we then constructed our Performing Arts and Events Center (PAEC), which was completed on time, within budget, and nearly all paid for. We then leveraged $3 million of grant funding to knock down a 30-foot wall and create a space and connector by building the sprawling and beautiful Town Center Steps.

And now, it’s finally time to address the last piece of the initial puzzle!

With Light Rail set to bring 30,000 people to our downtown every day, starting in 2026, we have an invaluable opportunity to leverage this moment and create a thriving hub of economic growth and a true destination for our residents, visitors and employers. There are times in the life of a city when we are allowed to change the course of our future dramatically.

Today marks a pivotal moment in our city’s journey—a chance for transformation, renewal and progress.

We stand poised to redefine our image and create an incredible downtown that embodies the spirit of our community. The vision of an extraordinary downtown for Federal Way has been nurtured for decades, reflected in the community outreach conducted in our first Comprehensive Plan over 30 years ago. We desire to create a compact urban community—a hub of activity where we live, work, celebrate and come together.

It’s time to turn this vision into reality, requiring bold action.

Dynamic downtowns are the heart of a city. Cities are known for their iconic landmarks, distinctive features, lively entertainment, bustling businesses and walkable streets. They provide high-quality and accessible living spaces. Downtowns are often the first impression of a city and pose an incredible opportunity to showcase a community’s vitality, culture, desirability and economic potential.

The transformation of our current downtown will require the redevelopment of existing properties, creating civic spaces, and reimagining how people navigate and experience the area. For the last three decades, we have realized that we must do more to achieve the iconic downtown we aspire to.

After an extensive and competitive process, we are thrilled the City is partnering with One Trent to develop the City-owned TC-3 property (former Target site).

Their proposed $500 million investment will bring mixed-use buildings, a city-funded parking garage and a new one-acre civic plaza. With the desire to develop this property to contain a wide variety of mixed uses and promote a sense of community, we are exploring the possibility of an ample community space and relocating City Hall to this property.

Our City is a service delivery organization. What better way to serve the growing community than by being part of the most significant redevelopment plan in the City’s history?

Your input is essential in shaping these plans, and we invite you to visit our downtown community engagement page: www.engagefw. com/downtown. We encourage you to get involved and learn more about what else we are working on to catalyze downtown redevelopment.

Defining downtown and transforming its core requires vision, commitment and difficult decisions. Let us rise from the dust of the old and build a brighter future together Centered on Opportunity in Federal Way.

I will close with the signature sign-off of the legendary radio commentator Paul Harvey: “And now you know the rest of the story.”

Thank you,

Jim Ferrell

Mayor of Federal Way