Local Economic Development Investment Fund

Economic development at the port occurs in direct ways, such as the development of publicly-owned marine terminals and industrial parks, as well as indirectly through community economic development investments.

Our Local Economic Development Investment Fund has an annual budget of $250,000. It is available to non-profits and municipal agencies in Pierce County, and may be used to help local jurisdictions fulfill matching requirements to receive a larger grant. 

Investments prioritize:

  • Road and freight rail infrastructure projects that create long-term jobs
  • Marine tourism infrastructure projects intended to attract tourists to Pierce County from outside locations
  • Planning activities or events promoting international trade 
  • Planning activities or events promoting tourism intended to attract tourists to Pierce County from outside locations

 2019 Local Economic Development Investment Fund program selected projects



Awarded amount

City of DuPont

DuPont/Steilacoom Road Improvements


City of Fife

Science & Family Fair Volcanic Bash


City of Fife

54th/Taylor Way Study


City of Lakewood

Summer Fest


Pierce County

11th Street Boat Ramp Design


Gig Harbor BoatShop

Marine Railways at Eddon Boatyard


Pierce County Parks & Recreation

Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail Analysis Study


Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission

Seventy/48 Race


Visit Rainier

Mobility Tourism Guide


City of Orting

Tourism Video


2018 Funded Projects

In 2018, The Local Economic Development Investment Fund supported these eight projects in Pierce County. 

The Asia Pacific Cultural Center
For the development of architectural renderings and sketches for design of a new Asia Pacific Cultural Center complex along Ruston Way.

The City of Lakewood 
For the design and survey development of the 123rd Street construction in Springbrook to provide ingress and egress.

The City of Sumner
For SR 410 Traffic Avenue Interchange Improvements.

The Harbor History Museum of Gig Harbor
To improve the museum’s Maritime Gallery, create a ‘Salmon, Seiners, and Life on the Sea’ exhibit, for the improved interpretation of the Shenandoah Project, and for a take away interpretive guide to ‘Finding Fish Boats’ exhibit.

Pierce County 
For upgrades to software for eight interconnected traffic signals in the Frederickson Manufacturing Industrial Center.

Pierce Transit
For a feasibility study regarding a ferry service between Tacoma and Seattle.

The Point Defiance Zoological Society 
For the development of the Port of Tacoma Tidal Surge Exhibit/construction to support the Pacific Seas Aquarium.

Points Northeast Historical Society
For interpretive signage for the Browns Point Light Station historic site.

2017 Funded Projects

In 2017, The Local Economic Development Investment Fund supported 10 projects in Pierce County.  Here are some highlights:

The Washington State Historical Society’s Model Train Festival

The Washington State Historical Society’s Model Train Festival, to be held around the Christmas holiday to unite history and holiday magic.

The Town of Wilkeson’s SR 165 Adventure

The Town of Wilkeson will produce 2,500 brochures detailing a Micro-adventure through the communities of Wilkeson, Buckley, Carbonado, Burnett, and Mount Rainier National Park’s Carbon River Glacier entrance (a total route of 23 miles) focusing on the corridor’s rich mining history.

Pierce Transit Ruston Trolley extension

The Community Economic Development Investment Fund’s contribution helped extend the service of the Trolley to three Third Thursdays Art Mingle days throughout the summer of 2017.

Mt. Rainier Amphitheater Summer Concert Series

Funding for the Mt. Rainier Amphitheater Summer Concert Series extended the program to include two separate shoulder season events with music and vendors at the newly completed community facility and amphitheater.

Other projects which received funding in 2017 were:

  • The Foss Waterway Seaport, to support the development of a Puyallup Tribe Museum Exhibit.
  • Pierce County Public Works, to support the economic assessment of the Canyon Road East Freight Corridor.
  • The Asia Pacific Cultural Center, to support the conclusion of a Business Development Plan for a new 390,000 square foot campus.

2016 funded projects

2017 Festival of Sail

The Foss Waterway Development Authority’s four-day maritime event featuring tall sailing vessels will bring tourism economic development to Pierce County in the form of hotel stays, increased patronage to restaurants and other travel services.

Dome Business District marketing video

The Dome Business District’s marketing video will be used to improve the district’s social and business engagement and promote area businesses. The marketing tool will assist local, regional and statewide visitors, as well as attract new businesses to the area.

Overpass upgrade on State Route 410

The City of Sumner project will upgrade an overpass and two intersections at the State Route 410 interchange with Sumner’s Traffic Avenue and Puyallup’s East Main. The truck route connects to Sumner’s industrial area and the Port of Tacoma, and 30,000 commuters travel on it each day. The Port’s contribution will help Sumner obtain grant funds for design work and leverage other grant dollars.

Signalization at Durango & Steilacoom

The City of Lakewood project will fully-signalize the intersection at Durango and Steilacoom Boulevard SW to increase freight mobility distribution. This infrastructure project helps Lakewood revitalize an underused industrial site with improved access for 54 parcels, 30 to 40 businesses, 400 employees and 22,000 daily commuters. The Port funds will be used for grant matching and to help leverage additional grant dollars.

Past funded projects

Who to contact

Leslie Barstow