A one-time center of agriculture, Puyallup has grown and matured into a city with a rich historic downtown, a bustling shopping district and a growing employment base. Puyallup's location is central to the four-county Puget Sound region and provides easy proximity to greater Puget Sound and its international ports. The City serves as a "market crossroads" in east Pierce County connected to the major state freeways serving Central Puget Sound. Puyallup's location on the main west coast rail routes provides easy access for the "Sounder" regional commuter rail service, making the City the top boarding location for connections to the Tacoma, Seattle and Everett markets.
Puyallup's future economic outlook looks bright. Businesses will continue to locate in the City due to relatively inexpensive land and construction costs, the quality and stability of the work force, and competitive utility rates. In addition, many people and businesses are relocating to this region for its natural beauty and many opportunities. Puyallup combines the excitement of a major metropolitan area with small-town charm and abundant recreational opportunities. Finally, continued in-migration will contribute to employment growth and to new construction that will increase total assessed property values and have a positive impact on the Puyallup economy.
The City is actively developing its Pioneer Park downtown “civic center” area, with private interest increasing throughout the City’s downtown core. This civic center received a prestigious Statewide Governor’s “Smart Growth” award in 2009. Specific downtown projects include:
The City recently received two different substantial planning grants (totaling $220,000) which allow for work on upfront environmental review of downtown redevelopment, which is intended to streamline entitlement of future private development projects there. This work will occur in 2010-2012.
Construction of a three-mile phased riverfront recreation/commuter trail (Riverwalk Trail) through the city continues. Another major link in this Trail was completed in 2007, with construction of another portion to commence in late 2010. Eventually, the trail will provide a convenient route between residential and commercial areas and serve as a major link in a regional “sound to mountains” trail. The City has also completed “Phase III” improvements at the 60-acre Bradley Lake Park site on South Hill, consisting of new ball fields and other amenities.
The City continues to selectively annex portions of its Urban Growth Area. A 770-acre annexation to the immediate west of the City (West Hills Annexation), which brought 1620 new residents into the City, was completed in January, 2009. Other smaller annexations are currently under different stages of City review.
Several road projects have occurred in 2004-2010, many of which have been in the planning stage for years. These new improvements are expected to ease congestion and to provide alternate north/south routes throughout the city, including: