Lacey business and construction update

Community Development Director Rick Walk presented to the Lacey Chamber forum today


The August 4 Lacey South Sound Chamber’s monthly lunch forum featured the city’s Director of Community Development, Rick Walk, who provided the 125 attendees with an update on various projects throughout the municipality.

In 2020, the city had 3,885 active permits for 327 housing units, and 828,037 of new industrial square feet being constructed.

That compares to 2019, when the city had 625 multi-family units going.

Walk said that the city’s active response to COVID-19 created several moving parts for municipality management.

“We had to figure out ways to keep things moving so that people didn’t have idle sites,” Walk said, adding that the city also had to transition to off-site workforce scheduling throughout 2020 and 2021. “We also had $10,000 grants for 91 small businesses, totaling over $1 million, that hit the streets within two weeks of approval by the city council.”

Walk said that in 2021, there were 2,077 active permits, with 340,000 of new industrial square feet being constructed. There is currently active construction of 868 housing units, along with a pipeline of 1,210 housing units, which are creating a “building boom” in the City of Lacey, said Walk.

“Right now, there’s a job recruitment for over 1,040 new positions with these businesses,” Walk added.

Walk showcased the northeast Lacey area, which is home to more than 13,000 people and where more than 5,000 employees work.

“It’s all part of good planning with an environmental effort,” Walk said.

Part of that northeast Lacey footprint includes the Olympia Behavioral Health’s 85-bed, 75,900 square foot facility and the Bridge Development Project, a 705,590 square foot complex build on speculation without any contracted tenants along Hogum Bay Rd,  now home to Amazon. One of the crown jewels of the area is also the Washington State Department of Transportation complex, said Walk.

“It’s a nice resource to have here that we didn’t want going elsewhere,” he said.

Midtown, which stretches from College Street to the Chehalis-Western Trail, from Pacific to I-5, has been a focus of the City of Lacey since the 1990s, said Walk.

“The city has been working hard for the community so that we can also prosper,” he said, showcasing two apartment complexes with over 150 units per building, with the goal of getting more resident energy there.  One of these will be a four-story building at and behind the location of the former Shanghai Restaurant. Both projects should be complete by September 2022.


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