Lacey continues to see growth, development, says city manager


Lacey City Manager Rick Walk says Lacey continues to see significant growth and development across various sectors, from housing to economic expansion, while emphasizing diversity and inclusion.

In his recent State of the City address during a meeting of Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce members last Wednesday, March 6, Walk provided an overview of the city's progress and upcoming initiatives.

Population and housing

Lacey's population currently stands at 59,430, with a diverse demographic makeup. The racial composition includes White residents comprising 64.4%, followed by Hispanic (10.9%), multi-racial (10.6%), and other ethnic groups such as Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (1.9%), Asian (9.0%), and American Indian and Alaska Native (0.5%).

Housing in Lacey reflects a mix of owner-occupied and renter-occupied units, totaling 24,963 housing units. The median home price is $505,000, while the average rent for an 845-square-foot apartment is $1,738.

Business and economic development

Lacey boasts a thriving business community, with 1,481 businesses employing approximately 23,470 individuals. The city offers a significant commercial and industrial space of 15,170,000 square feet, with low vacancy rates across various sectors, including office (8.7%), industrial (4.5%), retail (3.8%), and multi-family (5.2%).

The city also saw substantial growth in several key areas, including a population increase of 14,202, 4,388 housing units, and new commercial/industrial space totaling 9.8 million square feet. The city also expanded its boundaries through annexations, adding 1,522 acres and welcoming 2,863 residents.

To support this growth, Lacey increased its city staffing by eight employees.

Budget allocation and public investment

Lacey's capital projects for 2024.
Lacey's capital projects for 2024.

Lacey's total budget for 2024 amounts to $299,977,443, distributed across various funds including Internal Service Funds ($8,109,548), Capital Projects ($68,220,943), Utility Funds ($134,547,649), General Fund ($87,357,207), Special Revenue ($649,700), and Debt Service ($1,092,396).

A significant portion of the budget is allocated to public investment projects, with $68 million dedicated to capital projects. These projects include the construction of the Lacey Police Station, enhancing Greg Cuoio Park and William A. Bush Park Playground, expanding the RAC Parking Lot, College Street Extension, and other transportation improvements.

Economic development and community programs

Lacey remains committed to economic development initiatives, including a $1.5 million investment in equipment and facility expansion to support startups, focusing on BIPOC-, Veteran-, and women-owned businesses.

The city also received recognition from the Washington Economic Development Association for its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, particularly for its Lacey Food Truck Depot.

In addition, Lacey continues to prioritize community engagement and neighborhood improvement through programs like the Neighborhood Grant Program, which distributed approximately $80,000 in grants in 2023.

Private investment and development projects

Private investment in Lacey is evident through various housing and development projects, including constructing multi-family and single-family units, accessory dwelling units, and mobile home placements.

Notable development projects in progress include the 7th Ave. Woodland Apartments, Woodland Square Loop, and Quiemuth Resort & Village.

Homeless response and climate action initiatives

Lacey remains committed to addressing homelessness through initiatives like the Community Resource Unit and the Maple Court Enhanced Shelter. The Maple Court facility provides housing and support services to unhoused individuals, reflecting the city's commitment to compassion and social responsibility.

The city is also taking proactive steps toward sustainability and climate action, with initiatives such as an energy-efficiency rebate program, LED streetlight replacement, and installing electric vehicle charging stations.

Moving forward, Walk said residents of Lacey can look forward to cultural celebrations such as the Lacey Cultural Celebration and the Lacey Spring Fun Fair, which provide opportunities for community engagement and enjoyment.


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  • AugieH

    As long as it brings money into Lacey's coffers, Ricky Walk will be all for it and damn the trees and the residents' wishes.

    Friday, March 15 Report this