New website links tech and data to grow business
A power-packed website called InvestPierceCounty.com is now available that will drive additional business to local commercial real estate brokers, and help companies looking for properties find just what they need right here in Pierce County.
Launched in April, InvestPierceCounty.com is an extensive online search tool of Commercial Broker Association (CBA) listings. It is designed to help business owners, brokers, site selectors and communities locate available commercial and industrial sites and buildings in the county.
The website, under the leadership of Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, is a partnership between the Pierce County Economic Development Department and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. The site offers a free, searchable database of hundreds of available buildings and sites, along with maps of demographics and customized reports. It’s also a first-of-its kind collaboration. Pierce County and the EDB partnered with GIS WebTech, the global leader in software solutions for economic development and site selection, to integrate CBA data, combining the most advanced economic development solution with the best properties data in Washington State.
“InvestPierceCounty.com provides great data resources to decision makers as they analyze and select business locations,” Dammeier said. “This powerful new tool combines technology and data into one place to help businesses locate, expand and grow in Pierce County. It’s a great way to showcase all of the opportunities our county has to offer.”
A win-win-win situation
The benefits of the partnership are deep and far-reaching:
- Brokers use the geographic information systems (GIS) solution and access available market data to showcase properties to decision makers. That means added exposure of available properties.
- Site selectors and business owners gain consolidated access to regional data to inform site-selection decisions.
- Communities use reliable, third-party data sources to support their business recruitment and retention efforts.
It’s more than a listing database of properties. Users can overlap data to create on-demand reports that combine property listings with labor market information, incentive information, infrastructure, census data, maps, local amenities and more.
“Data on listed properties is great, but data without context is just that — data,” said Rob Allen, Pierce County senior economic development specialist. “InvestPierceCounty.com brings property listings together with demographic data, market data and local features to help turn the data into actionable information.”
Think of it as window-shopping, with the ability to sort the window you’re shopping in. If someone is looking for a property with around 100,000 square feet of flex space that’s 30 minutes from SeaTac International Airport in an unincorporated area serviced by rail, InvestPierceCounty.com has the capability to quickly pull up what’s available.
Right on the curve
In today’s modern site-selection process, people are digitally checking out Pierce County far in advance of when they actually make contact. “In the marketplace, there is a growing expectation among site selectors and real estate executives that we have high-quality, deep real estate information readily available,” said Sarah Bonds, EDB vice president for business recruitment. “With this new tool, we’re right on the curve, if not ahead of it.”
“It’s a great tool with a lot of potential,” said Jeff Lyon, EDB board member and chairman and CEO of Kidder Mathews, the largest independent commercial real estate firm on the West Coast. “The more information you can have in a single source, the better it is for everyone.”
The website will continue to be a work in progress, and the County and the EDB look forward to receiving feedback from users to further enhance the tool. Comments have been positive, and users have already provided suggestions for innovative ways the website can be used.
Webinars, resources and more
InvestPierceCounty.com is a powerhouse, and such an information-rich tool can be daunting. Help is available to break it down. Webinars are scheduled for 11 a.m. PT June 3 and 10 a.m. PT June 10 for anyone interested in learning how to use the website. Pierce County Economic Development and the EDB are available to schedule additional webinars and in-person training, respond to questions and provide more information.
- EDB: Sarah Bonds, firstname.lastname@example.org, 253.284.5892
- Pierce County Economic Development: Betty Capestany, director, email@example.com, 253.798.6926, and Rob Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 253.798.6915
How-to videos, a help page and other resources are in the works.