State Farm’s Place in Tacoma’s Destiny

Realistic appraisal of the imminent arrival of State Farm in downtown Tacoma says it won't be the answer to all our economic worries - any more than the McMenamins Elks deal, the Convention Center, or the mythical Spire - but is it a move in the right direction?

A recent Puget Sound Business Journal article last week considers what State Farm's arrival in Tacoma will do for our downtown - as well as what it won't do. It won't make us Seattle.

If anything, State Farm’s move to downtown Tacoma further cements the city’s place in the region as the low-cost alternative to Seattle.

State Farm will fill up office space, bring workers to downtown businesses, and drive at least some development in the city. According to the PSBJ article annual asking rates for Class A office space in Tacoma have gone up by $1 already, with vacancy rates dropping, and State Farm is investing of over $30 million in upgrading the space it will be renting. Both commercial and residential development are on the increase as well.

The average wages of the State Farm workers who began arriving in Tacoma last week will be significantly lower than those that left for Seattle with Russell, but they will be feet on the street, and in the coffee shops, restaurants, and elsewhere. We'll have to see what the ultimate impact will be on Tacoma's economic situation. The PSBJ article seems to paint State Farm's arrival as yet another example of Tacoma's downtown not quite measuring up.

But do we really need to keep comparing Tacoma to Seattle to know where we stand? Is that the yardstick we want to be paying attention to?

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Published Author RR AndersonRegistered

maybe they’ll do a better job of maintaining the face-melting marsha moody clearchannel billboards?

October 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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If Tacoma had more big spenders then we would have the quality of life available in Seattle?

Thanks Puget Sound Business Journal. Because of your values and attitudes, I’ve just been shocked into a new awareness—Thinking and acting like a good consumer is more important than thinking and acting like a good citizen.

October 9, 2013 at 8:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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