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Public-Private Partnership Charts Path for Economic Development and Historic Preservation

Historic preservation is often portrayed as the alternative to economic development – we either can have one OR the other. This is of course a false choice, and a respected national real estate developer and group of state and community partners are showing how historic preservation and economic growth can go hand-in-hand. They have secured state funding and initiated a community engagement process to repurpose the iconic headquarters building the Weyerhaeuser Company built in 1970 and occupied for many years before they sold it and moved to Seattle.

The large headquarters building was home to 1,000 employees and was designed to be blend into the landscape by tipping a "high-rise" on its side and creating the effect of a dam on one end of an artificial lake. Each level of the building has its own parking lot terrace and could be transformed into a shared space by multiple tenants. The goal is to preserve the iconic exterior of the building and repurpose the five floors of the interior to promote innovation, education, and workforce development in ways that restore economic vitality and living wage jobs lost with Weyerhaeuser's departure. As the government relations and public affairs consultant working on this project, I want to give special thanks to the collaborative and visionary efforts of the Industrial Realty Group, LLC, Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, Washington State Department of Commerce, Jobs For South Sound, Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Rebecca Martin, MA, IOM, CCE, Senator Claire Wilson, Dr. Allyson Brooks Ph.D. MPA, Michael Grayum, Archaeologist Jennifer Ferris, Richard Kendall, Lauren Crumrine, and the legal team at Mccullough Hill Leary.

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