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UPDATE I: DaVita, one of downtown Tacoma’s biggest employers, moving about a third of its employees to Federal Way

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Oct. 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
October 25, 2012 6:07 pm

After looking for more office space to expand for more than a year, one of downtown Tacoma’s largest employers since Russell Investments has announced that it’s moving about 350 of its employees to Federal Way.

UPDATE, 3:45 p.m.: I just spoke to the head of DaVita’s Tacoma operations, Jim Hilger. The company will be moving to 32275 32nd Ave. S, which is a building on the Weyerhaeuser campus that currently holds the company’s data center. The office space has been empty for some time, he said, and DaVita will take about 125,000 square feet for the operations that currently have about 80,000 square feet in the Columbia Bank Center in Tacoma.

“We are still committed to Tacoma. We still will have 550 people working in downtown and we’re growing,” he said.

Why not grow in downtown, particularly at the former Russell Investment headquarters that sits empty as Russell runs out its lease?

“Stylistically it isn’t appropriate, and and economically it was not competitive,” Hilger said. “That building is a wonderful beautiful building. But it is not the type of space that DaVita typically occupies. If you look around the country, we are just like Federal Way in almost every case except our corporate headquarters in Denver. We are in low 1-2-3-story buildings. Large footprints.”

The Russell Building is a very formal building,” he said. “We’re not a super formal organization.”

UPDATE, 4:00 p.m.: An astute reader points out that my shorthand of “downtown’s largest employer” is inaccurate. I think of downtown as the downtown core, but clearly the boundaries are broader and include both MultiCare and Franciscan health systems, which employ thousands of people. Look for better phrasing in the completed story in tomorrow’s paper.

UPDATE, 4:05 p.m., from my colleague C.R. Roberts: Phyllis Harrison, former president of the Downtown Merchants Group and co-owner of The Art Stop and LeRoy Jewelers in downtown Tacoma, said Thursday, “We’re always seeing change downtown. We’re always seeing people coming and going – and we’d always like to see more coming than going.”

Still, she said, “Downtown Tacoma is still the hub of the region, and I’m glad the the majority of DaVita employees are staying here rather than moving.”

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Here’s the company’s news release. Check here for updates.

DaVita to Lease Former Weyerhaeuser Office Space in Federal Way

Majority of teammates will remain in Tacoma; 350 will move to Federal Way location

TACOMA, Wash. (Oct. 25, 2012) – DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA), a leading provider of kidney care services that is committed to improving the quality of life for those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), announced today that it will lease former Weyerhaeuser office space in Federal Way for about 350 of its teammates (employees).

The DaVita® teammates who will be relocated currently work in the Columbia Bank Center building, primarily in finance and accounting.  About 550 additional teammates will continue to work in Tacoma, located in the DaVita tower at 1423 Pacific Avenue. DaVita’s interim chief financial officer, Jim Hilger, says DaVita expects to continue to grow within Tacoma as well as in Federal Way.

“Tacoma is an amazing city that has been and will continue to be home for most of DaVita’s ‘Team Evergreen,’ said Hilger. “With the new space, we’ve found a very good balance between a convenient location, a terrific workspace and a reasonable cost.”

“DaVita’s decision to retain a majority of their ‘Team’ in Tacoma demonstrates that Tacoma remains an outstanding place to do business,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

The target date for DaVita’s move into the Federal Way workspace is April, 2013.

DaVita is a registered trademark of DaVita Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About DaVita

DaVita Inc., a Fortune 500® company, is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, delivering dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita strives to improve patients’ quality of life by innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans, personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of June 30, 2012, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 1,884 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 149,000 patients. The company also operated 19 outpatient dialysis centers located in four countries outside the United States. DaVita supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world. The company’s leadership development initiatives and social responsibility efforts have been recognized by Fortune, Modern Healthcare, Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit www.davita.com.

 

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