Great News for Tacoma!
Tacoma leaders toast DaVita’s new lease
THE NEWS TRIBUNE
Tacoma and Pierce County political and business leaders raised a glass Monday night to celebrate DaVita’s decision to keep its business offices in Tacoma.
In a cocktail gathering at the Pacific Grill Events Center, DaVita Vice President Jim Hilger accepted on behalf of the company the thanks of Tacoma’s mayor – as well as a proclamation declaring Aug. 10, 2009, “DaVita Day” in Tacoma.
Mayor Bill Baarsma presented the framed proclamation, then surprised Hilger with a key to the city – a gift Baarsma asked Hilger to deliver to corporate headquarters in Denver.
DaVita, which operates a network of 1,400 kidney treatment centers nationwide, announced in May that it would sign a new lease on the former Schoenfeld Furniture Store at South 15th Street and Pacific Avenue, and lease three floors of the nearby Columbia Bank Building to house its accounting and billing staff.
The company now employs some 900 workers in Tacoma, and it expects to add more over the next decade. Its decision to stay in the city has been celebrated in downtown circles and almost always is mentioned in the same breath as the forthcoming headquarters decision for Russell Investments.
The gathering Monday was put on by the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, and the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma. Among those attending were U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, who Hilger has said called him on his cell phone while DaVita was making a decision.
When asked if he had Russell CEO Andrew Doman’s cell phone number handy, Dicks said with a smile, “I’m sure I have it in my files.”
Kathleen Cooper, The News Tribune