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Former Weyerhaeuser campus gets a new name

Economy

Former Weyerhaeuser campus gets a new name

Katherine Galliher

It was all over the news when the former Weyerhaeuser campus in Federal Way was sold in 2016 as the company moved its headquarter to Seattle.

The Property has a sprawling campus, tucked between Interstate 5 and state Route 18, is home to significant wooded lakefront land, a bonsai museum, and a rhododendron garden.

Now, Industry Realty Group, a California-based developer is all set to introduce a new plan to the public related to the property.

An open house for public viewing of the plan is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the site.

As per the new plans, IRG is considering renaming the property.

It would change the name from Weyerhaeuser campus to Woodbridge Corporate Park.

As per the Woodbridge website, the aim is to create “new employment opportunities across the income spectrum.”

“Our vision saves the vast majority of the acreage, leaving it as natural space that will be open for public use and tenants of the corporate park,” according to the company.

The developers have planned to leave almost 70 percent of the land undeveloped. The part of the property which will be developed will be for what the plan terms “light industrial,” which IRG says will be obscured by trees and generally hidden from the roadway.

According to the site plan, a total of five new buildings are proposed in a total of 1.5 million square feet, which will be developed “in a way that minimizes traffic, protects water quality and reduces aesthetic impacts significantly less than other options like condominiums, apartments, retail, and additional office space.”

“If you were to put a multifamily proposal on (the site), the traffic would be three times that caused by the business plan we are focused on,” said Dana Ostenson, executive vice president of IRG.

Ostenson said that a Fortune 50 company had shown interest in the proposed building which would bring more than 200 jobs, including “185 desk jobs, some executive space, some distribution and some repair for the company’s products.”

Ostenson also added that the company is keeping its tenant recruitment focused on bringing back as many jobs as possible to replace those lost with Weyerhaeuser’s departure as well as adding other great fit jobs for Federal Way such as aerospace and biotech.

“This is very important for Federal Way, given their fiscal needs,” he said.

As per Ostenson, the end goal is to create not only thousands of jobs but to create them in an environmentally effective way, not a moonscape.
However, it is expected to have much criticism of its own kind.

Save Weyerhaeuser Campus, a grassroots community group, is concerned about the new warehouses and truck traffic at the site. The new plan also follows the withdrawal of plans in 2016, after a public backlash, for a $55 million plant for Orca Bay Seafoods and Preferred Freezer Services on the part of the campus.

The group said it would like to talk to IRG in an effort to preserve the unique character of the land.

However, IRG’s plan is different; it wants the new companies attracted to the site will pay for the preservation and restoration of campus features.

The plan notes, “Thoughtful design of new light industrial buildings that are shielded from view by dense tree cover will allow the preservation and restoration of the headquarters building, open fields, trails, North Lake waterfront, Bonsai Museum, and the Rhododendron Species Botanical Gardens.”

Details of the Open House-
The address of the Open house to be conducted- Woodbridge Corporate Park headquarters, 33663 Weyerhaeuser Way S., Federal Way
Date & Time – February 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m., with presentations by IRG staff at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Katherine Galliher
Katherine Galliher

Katherine Galliher is a writer and a passionate musician who loves to travel often. She has worked a freelance writer for multiple agencies and online platforms. Apart from keeping herself busy in writing she founds her interest in biking and exploring new places.

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