Deluxe with a Side of Development
October 20 marked an important day in the history of our city. Over 1,000 people gather to celebrate the newest location of a Northwest institution, Dick’s Drive-In --Edmonds.
The first new location for Dick’s in 37 years did not mysteriously appear in Edmonds out of hap and circumstance.
It resulted in a concerted effort by City officials to embrace economic opportunity and development. On top of an ambitious construction the Spady family was able to open their windows five weeks early- no doubt a ringing endorsement from a respected member of the business community that Edmonds indeed is “Open for Business!”
Going back to 2006, the City adopted an Economic Development Plan.
It’s first goal states, “Foster a healthy business community that provides employment and other economic opportunities.”
Dick’s is an example of the City’s commitment to meeting that goal. With the opening of the 3800 square foot property, Dick’s adds 35 new family wage jobs.
These jobs not only pay above the industry standard but include healthcare and college tuition reimbursement for fulltime employees.
The opportunity to open the first new Dick’s in 37 years was sought after by many communities. Our City’s effort was lead by Stephan Clifton, the City’s Economic Development Director, and started over a year ago.
The City made the best case and Dick’s broke ground in May.
The city followed through on its’ promises to be efficient partner in completing the project and the building finished over a month ahead of schedule.
City leaders promised a welcoming community and Thursday one thousand people packed the parking lot to get the inaugural taste.
Additionally in the days since the opening, Dick’s has shattered daily sales records and even went scrambling to other locations for more supplies- truly an Edmonds welcoming, beyond their expectation.
In terms of Edmonds and economic development, this is more than just a story of a burger joint out on Highway 99.
While our nation struggles to recover from the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, our City continues to attract new and diverse businesses:
· Expansions at Swedish Hospital and neighboring medical office.
· New local food and drink establishments like American Brewing Company, Revelations Yogurt, Winged Pig doors are open and Jack Murphy’s Pub is on the way.
· Financial institution like the new Washington Federal location and new additions of Columbia State Bank, and Opus Bank.
· Specialty shops like Saetia and Cline Jewelry have located downtown and our team continues to drive business development in the Westgate Neighborhood.
The fourth goal on our Economic Development Plan recognizes that economic development is not strictly furthered by attractive new business but also “strengthening the quality of life and vitality of the community for residents, workers, and visitors to enjoy.”
While Dick’s fills this mission and provides a unique experience for visitors and residents, we have also prioritized projects like the completion of the Interurban Trail and the Old Milltown Courtyard Park. This demonstrates we as a city are committed to preserve the high quality of life we enjoy here in Edmonds.
It is important to take notice that our approach to economic development is one that respects the small town values we have enjoyed since the City’s founding.
We know that we can attract and retain business, like Dick’s Drive-In, create opportunity and preserve our high quality of life all the while without compromising our values.