On Friday, Jan. 12, Burien City Manager Brian WilsonÂ gave aÂ presentationÂ about the City’s economy at the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever Economic Forecast Luncheon. Wilson spoke about:
- New Housing Projects
- Northeast Redevelopment Area (NERA)
- Burien Wellness Cluster
- Burien is a Foodie Paradise
- Best Small City to Raise a Family In
- Improve Brand, Marketing Campaign
- Downtown Mobility Study
- Attract Lodging with Conference and Arts Facilities
“In preparing for this presentation, we were told we have 5 minutes to talk about what is happening in Burien and how we are fulfilling council directives on economic development. Well, thereâ€™s just too much happening to fit in a 5 minute presentation. So we only picked a few things to highlight that we are looking forward to in 2018; thereâ€™s a lot more going on than what you see here.
“In 2017, we welcomed over 330 new units of housing with the completion of our Town Square project. The new housing projects set records for fastest leasing, demonstrating a high demand for our market. In 2018, we look forward to more talks with developers about opportunities for investing in downtown and other parts of our city.
Northeast Redevelopment Area (NERA), located on 146th and Des Moines Memorial Drive. “In this picture to the right is the largest cold storage facility in Washington State, which houses Washington products like cherries, Beechers cheese, and Theo chocolates before they are shipped all around the world. “Across the street and around the corner will be another 480,000 Square feet to be completed in 2018â€“ we are actively recruiting tenants and look forward to new jobs in Burien.
Burien Wellness Cluster “Our largest employer sectorâ€“ healthcareâ€“ experienced $52M of investments in new facilities in the past year including the new Health Science building at the Puget Sound Skills Center and the new Kaiser Permanente clinic that replaced the old Group Health facility. Another $100M investment is planned for next year with the renovations to Highline Hospital. “The City actively supports this sector with our Burien Wellness Cluster committee, which serves as referral group for patients and a way to find qualified employees. This group also puts on Burien Wellness Fair which connects residents to providers.
Burien is a Foodie Paradise “In 2017, we also celebrated the opening of Bakery Nouveau in our downtown. And in 2018 we look forward to *maybe* adding a few vegetables back into our diets with the opening of PCC Community Markets.”
Best Small City to Raise a Family In “Acknowledged in 2017 as the 5th best city in Washington to raise a family, in 2018, we expect to see even more young families moving to Burien.”
Improve Brand, Marketing Campaign “Under city council direction in 2017 Burien created its first advertisements. The ads are targeted at airport users and tout one of our largest strengthsâ€“ our eclectic cuisine. Thanks to the Port of Seattleâ€™s Spotlight program, tens of thousands of Alaska Airlines passengers will be seeing our ad in their terminal over the holiday season and for the next 3 months. And thanks to a first time partnership with the RTA, ads are in every hotel room in the SeaTac area pointing people to patronize our small businesses. “But weâ€™re not done yet. Thereâ€™s more to come in 2018 with our first comprehensive business attraction materials and the new website.”
Implement Downtown Mobility Study “The Downtown Mobility study included recommendations on how to support downtown businesses by making it easier for shoppers and patrons to access businesses. The study also recommended we reduce the parking requirements of small businesses. By making the parking requirements more flexible and achievable, we are making it easier for small businesses to move into the downtown and renovate existing buildings for a new use. “The Downtown Mobility Study completed in 2016 recommended wayfinding to help travelers to/from the airport find Burien businesses and other amenities. In 2017, we completed a wayfinding plan and we will implement the plan in 2018.”
Attract Lodging with conference and arts facilities “Even with all of the great things happening in Burien, there are a few things we still want in our community, including a hotel. This is a picture from the hotel study which demonstrated that Burien has the capacity for an 80-100 key hotel. The study showed the best and most likely locations for this hotel would be along 1st Ave and 509, as well as in our downtown. We are proactively meeting with hotel developers to alert them of this opportunity. And any time Jeff is sick of them knocking down his door in SeaTac, he knows where he can send them. ;)”]]>