Thursday, October 15, 2009

Defense Industry Means Economic Development

With the best performance of any industry, the military-defense growth in Pierce County has been not just an economic stabilizer, but a growth engine.

Yesterday's presentation by David Bugher, Assistant City Manager, City of Lakewood to the Chamber's Military Affairs Committee, showed the community how economic development infrastructure can support an expansion of this industry here.

Recently, the City of Lakewood, commissioned a study of the Woodbrook Business Park area of American Lake Gardens. Primarily now a low-income residential area, the City is extending public infrastructure to an area that could support economic development. While thorny challenges still remain as to social equity in affordable housing supplies, the maximum development option could provide up to 3,500 jobs and an assessed present value of $33,044,900 increased up to $184,258,800.

Although in the early stages of Lakewood's evaluation of this part of their community, military contractors serving Fort Lewis are a definite potential target for recruitment for such a business park. The continuing development of the post generates a greater opportunity outside the fence and areas available within become more scarce.

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