The Biz Buzz

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Category: Economic Development

June
27th

Rail sale to Lewis County may help city extinguish debt

A $3 million offer from  Lewis County for a little-used piece of a City of Tacoma-owned railroad could help the city extinguish a $6.25 million debt.

Lewis County  wants to buy some 20 miles of rail line extending northward from Chehalis to near Maytown. That line is owned by the City of Tacoma and managed by the city’s Tacoma Rail short line railroad.

The Lewis County group would use the rail line for industrial and tourism development and for rail car storage. One of the proposed uses for the line would be as an excursion and dinner train route between

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June
26th

Niagara Bottling to open plant in Frederickson

Niagara Bottling, LLC, has announced plans to open a bottling facility in Frederickson.

From the Pierce County press release:

Niagara Bottling, LLC, the largest family-owned bottled water manufacturer in the United States, has announced plans to open a state-of-the-art bottling facility in Pierce County, Washington. This will be Niagara’s first site in the Pacific Northwest, joining 13 others around the country.

The new 311,000-square-foot facility in Randles Business Park in the Frederickson Industrial Area will initially create 36 jobs and make a capital investment of approximately $50 million. The facility will serve the company’s customers throughout the region.

Groundbreaking

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June
25th

Unemployment rates rise in May in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties

A declining unemployment rate in the South Sound over the last several months lured more people to re-enter the job market last month causing unemployment percentages to jump upward in Pierce and Kitsap counties, new figures from the state show.

In Thurston County, the situation was different.  There the workforce declined by 420 workers, but the number of employed declined even faster, 940 fewer jobs, resulting in the higher unemployment rate.

“It’s a phenomenon that we usually see in the spring especially if people perceive that the economy is improving,” said Jim Vleming, regional economist for Washington State Department of

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June
21st

Planning meeting to discuss first steps in major developments to North Downtown – including Stadium District

More people, bigger buildings, more pollution, transit, housing, commerce … whew!

If you live in, work in, own property in or care about Tacoma’s North Downtown area, then you might want to attend a public meeting that will discuss the impact of development there over the next few decades.

For planning purposes, North Downtown roughly runs from the Thea Foss Waterway to Yakima Avenue and from South 15th Street up through the Stadium District, to include Wright Park, the St., Helens District and Tacoma’s commercial core.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, in the main

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June
20th

Paris Air Show yields three strong business prospects for Pierce County

A sales trip to the world’s most important gathering of aerospace industry businesses, the Paris Air Show, has yielded three strong business leads for Pierce County, say local officials who made the trip.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board Chief Executive Officer Bruce Kendall said Thursday that two European avionics companies and one American testing concern have shown strong interest in Pierce County.

McCarthy and Kendall were part of a 100-member Washington delegation to the air show at Le Bourget airport outside Paris this week.

The two said they had meetings with 31 companies over

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June
18th

City of Tacoma puts out a request for developers to build on downtown’s biggest undeveloped site

This just in via e-mail from the City of Tacoma: A solicitation has gone out to dozens of developers, brokers and investors, asking for proposals to buy and develop downtown’s biggest undeveloped site.

The so-called 6-acre parcel, once planned to be the site of the police headquarters, has been vacant since 2002,  just up the hill from the University of Washington Tacoma. The city wants “(h)igh quality projects that contribute to the area’s vitality” for the site. Proposals are due by Aug. 20.

Read the RFP here.

The parcel most recently was targeted by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center

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June
17th

Delta inaugurates new Asian route from Sea-Tac

Delta Air Lines, which is making Sea-Tac Airport a mini-hub for overseas flights, Monday added yet another foreign destination to its Seattle-Tacoma repertoire.

The Atlanta-based carrier began service Monday connecting Sea-Tac with Shanghai.  That city is the second destination in China for Delta from Sea-Tac. The airline already serves Beijing from Sea-Tac.

In addition to those two Chinese destinations, Delta also serves Tokyo and Osaka in Japan from Sea-Tac. The airline connects both of Tokyo’s two airports, close-in Handa, and Narita, to the Emerald City.

Delta serves both Amsterdam and Paris from the Puget Sound-area airport, and the airline has

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June
13th

Another success from Spaceworks Tacoma: Grit City GrindHouse opens next week

A shop offering skateboards, longboards and custom art will celebrate its grand opening June 21.

Grit City GrindHouse will operate in the St. Helens neighborhood, just down the hill from Puget Sound Pizza on South 7th Street. The GrindHouse is the latest success from the Spaceworks Tacoma program, which matches artists with vacant commercial space to both enliven neighborhoods and incubate business.

The program began in the summer of 2010 and has worked with more than 100 artists or artist teams in 24 spaces around downtown Tacoma. I profiled some of the business success stories last year,

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