National Retailers, Restaurants and Hotels Select Lakewood for New Locations and Expansions

For Immediate Release April 15, 2010

Contact Information:
Ellie Chambers
Economic Development Manager
(253) 983-7834

National Retailers, Restaurants and Hotels Select Lakewood for New Locations and Expansions

USA Discounters is the latest retailer to locate in the city

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (April 15, 2010)

With more than 18,000 military personnel returning to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) over the next five months, and an anticipated population of more than 101,000 by 2015, retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses are setting up shop or expanding current operations in nearby Lakewood, the host community for the base.

The newest retailer to locate in Lakewood is USA Discounters, a department store that sells a broad array of merchandise including furniture, electronics, appliances and tires. This is the first Northwest location for the national retailer that caters to military and government employees. Unlike most department stores, USA Discounters specializes in helping individuals establish or re-establish credit through the financing of their purchases. The new store is located in the heart of the city at Lakewood Towne Center in space previously occupied by Safeway. “We are already seeing the impact of the returning soldiers on the local economy,” said USA Discounters Lakewood Store Manager Phil Hulen. “We selected Lakewood for our newest store due to its proximity to the military base. It couldn’t be a better location for us.”

To accommodate the growing number of families in the region, Wal-Mart’s Lakewood store is expanding to offer groceries including a meat department, bakery and deli. The store, which is located near the Towne Center, will start construction in June 2010 and when completed next year will employ 85 new workers.

Additionally, a new Candlewood Suites Hotel is being built on Pacific Highway in Lakewood. The new 83-unit hotel specifically caters to military personnel and the growing number of military contractors who are seeking extended-stay accommodations. The hotel is slated for completion in September 2010.

During the past year, other businesses that have located in Lakewood include Red Robin, Carl’s Junior, Design Gallery & Studio, Navy Credit Union, and several new medical clinics, to name a few.

“The economic impact that these military bases have on our local community is huge,” said Lakewood Economic Development Manager Ellie Chambers-Grady. “We continue to be contacted by hoteliers and other service providers who are interested in locating in our community to meet the demands of the rapidly increasing population. We hope to have even more announcements to make in the next couple of months.”

The first soldiers, which were a part of Fort Lewis’ largest deployment in years, began returning home in March of this year. By the end of the summer, more than 18,000 troops and their families will be back in Washington State. By 2015, the population is projected to be more than 101,000.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the fifteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 1,100 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray. In 2008, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the third year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; five golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few. The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.