While a lot of focus has been put on the Performing Arts and Event Center (PAEC), this project represents only a portion of the eventual redevelopment of the downtown core. Vacant buildings and undeveloped lots can be viewed either as another example of urban blight or as an opportunity. Mark choose to look at the current situation as a great opportunity, an opportunity for the city to partner with the State, County, and business community to create something special in what will one day be Federal Way’s downtown.
One of the newest developments in our future downtown is the Town Center Steps. These steps, combined with a ADA ramp, will serve as a vital pedestrian connection by replacing a 28 foot wall. Mark has long advocated for creating a pedestrian friendly downtown with restaurants, retail shopping, services, offices, and residential housing. This project was paid for entirely by State grants and Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) funds and is situated adjacent to the PAEC, Transit Center, and our well loved Town Square Park. The steps, which include an integrated ADA ramp, will connect these well used assets as well as future development at the old Target building and the Hillside Mall just to the North.
Not that long ago downtown Bellevue, like Federal Way, consisted of strip malls and farms. Thanks to vision and leadership, the Bellevue business community and City leadership were able to partner together to create what exists there today. While we will not be another Bellevue, by looking to the future and the transit oriented redevelopment coming along with Sound Transit, we have the opportunity to create something special and unique here in Federal Way.
Our decisions today impact what our city will be 20 years. Mark is convinced that being strategically located between Seattle and Tacoma and being close to an International Airport Federal Way is an ideal place for business relocation. By focusing on mixed-use development, situated in a pedestrian-friendly environment with pleasant walkways and parks, we can create an environment in our future downtown that draws the people of Federal Way and surrounding communities here to live, work, play, and shop.