On May 15, the City of Lakewood held its first Housing Forum - marking one of the first times the City, housing developers, brokers and others with an interest in Lakewood sat down in the same room and discussed opportunities.
Almost 100 people packed the Sharon McGavick Student Center at Clover Park Technical College for the event, which featured several speakers who covered off-base housing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, housing and market trends in the Puget Sound, bank and credit union financing for projects and a developer's panel.
The City also discussed what it's doing to help developers in Lakewood, as well as what developers might expect when working with City Hall.
10th District Congressman Denny Heck offered the crowd perspective on what the federal government is trying to do spur housing.
Afterward, those who attended got a chance to speak directly with City senior leadership. Many who attended and spoke said they like the direction in which Lakewood is headed and appreciate the fact that the City decided to hold the forum.
Raelene Rogers of McCament & Rogers - one of the forum's featured speakers – said this of Lakewood's opportunities and potential for housing, including senior housing and being one of the gateways to Chambers Bay Golf Course for the 2015 U.S. Open: "I think Lakewood has a lot of opportunities ... We've got great lakes here in Lakewood. They give a lot of opportunity for higher-end housing. We have the opportunity for multifamily building because you are right in the middle of DuPont and Tacoma. And you have some unique opportunities. You just need to think outside of the box."
One of the areas for opportunity is the development (and redevelopment) of affordable, single-family housing - which the City knows is its most pressing housing need.
The City of Lakewood would like to thank the following speakers:
- Judy Sak, Directorate of Public Works Housing Division, JBLM
- Michael Luis, Luis and Associates
- Todd Britsch, President of New Home Trends
- Scott Beckwith, Harborstone Credit Union
- Kevin Conklin, Columbia Bank
- Bill Sager, Sager Family Homes
- Chris DeWald, Rush Construction
- Raelene Rogers, McCament & Rogers
The City has posted a photo gallery of the housing forum on its Facebook page . We will be posting a highlight video of the event, so check back for that.