Eleven new businesses and over 250 jobs have been added in Mountlake Terrace in the last four months, according to a city report presented to the City Council at its March 18 meeting.
Mountlake Terrace Economic Development Director Dave Baron explained some of the department’s work over the past 12 months. The economic development program has focused on finding grants and incentives to help fund Main Street revitalization, while conducting outreach and exploring opportunities to retain current businesses and attract new ones.
“We have a strong grant-writing capacity in the city,” said Baron. The city was recently selected for a Surface Transportation Program grant for $643,461 for the Main Street design. Pending grants include a Public Works Trust Fund $5.75 million low interest loan for development of Main Street and qualified energy conservation bonds.
Meanwhile, the Economic Development Office conducted 95 outreach visits and contacted over 125 developers over the past year. It has also produced new marketing materials encouraging business and development, especially in the city’s Town Center district along 236th Street Southwest and 56th Avenue West. “The trends are positive and headed upwards with a sales tax uptick as a leading indicator that the economy is improving,” said Baron.
The City Council has prioritized economic development as a key strategy to adding jobs, goods, and services to Mountlake Terrace, and to increase the city’s tax revenue base. City officials are hopeful of new public infrastructure improvements, specifically the reconstruction of 56th Avenue West (“Main Street”) between 230th and 236th Streets SW, to help with the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown core.
There are 42 projects at some stage of planning and development within Mountlake Terrace. Between January 1 and December 31, 2012 there were 235 land use and engineering applications processed, 875 building permits finalized with the value of finalized projects at $15.11 million, and 14 pre-application conferences were held. Interest also increased in developing and acquiring property that was previously approved for development. Some development activities initiated in past years have moved forward, with permits or construction anticipated for 2013.
Councilmember Bryan Wahl said, “I’m excited and energized by this report. We provided a great vision for our community, we’re laying the ground work, and marketing our community and the amenities we have and our efforts are paying off.”