Thursday, May 27, 2010

Freedom Crossing Lifestyles Center

In what would be one of the larger commercial construction projects in Pierce County - especially during this prolonged Great Recession, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), proposes to build a new/replacement commercial/retail center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).

Today, Joe Giuffreda, VP, Community Development Initiative, AAFES and Col. Tom Brittain, JBLM Garrison Commander, presented an overview of the project to the Chamber's Board of Directors. This briefing is an update of an earlier presentation to the Chamber's Military Affairs Committee some months ago.

Things have certainly progressed!

AAFES is looking at a market of 129,131 persons from JBLM military and families, civilians and retirees, primarily focused in its daytime, captive (on-base) population. The scope encompasses some 474,000 square feet allocted 58% AAFES, 36% 3rd party (local business and franchises) and 6% Garrison office space. Costs may be as high as $100 million from its corporate, not taxpayer, sources. (AAFES profits fund family services on JBLM.)

AAFES estimates between 850 and 1,000 jobs for construction, support services and stores operations. They also are planning for new business opportunities with new corporate stores, national and regional franchies and independent local businesses. Now, the private-sector businesses on base collect and pay to (unincorporated) Pierce County about $450,000 annually in sales tax revenue. That is projected to increase to several million dollars upon completion of the new lifestyles center.

AAFES will seek approval by its Board this August, with construction starting Fall 2011 and its completion in Summer 2013.

The Chamber Board referred a question of Chamber support to its Executive Committee. If you wish to know more about the project, or provide input into the decision-process of the Chamber's Executive Committee, contact Gary Brackett or 253-627-2175.

No comments: