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  • The street view of "downtown" Federal Way from proposed skyscraper development site.

From yesterday's News Tribune:

Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest wants to reignite developer interest in a piece of city-owned downtown property after plans for a three-skyscraper project there collapsed.

Which of course raises the question: there's a downtown Federal Way?

Not according to the Google Street View of the proposed site. Both the vacant lot and the surrounding neighborhood look kinda desolate, hardly the place you'd imagine investing $300 million into a condominium/hotel/office/retail project that would have included two 45-story towers plus a 35-story companion. I mean, Jesus... it looks like the site itself is ready to fall through, let alone the financing.

So what could possibly attract investors to an obviously dubious investment like this?

To attract investors, Twin Development says it is using Federal Way’s designation last fall by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service as a “regional center.” That program grants foreign investors permanent legal-resident status in exchange for their putting money into local developments.

Ah, I see. A federal program that subsidizes local development by selling green cards to wealthy foreigners. I guess you can't blame Federal Way for pursuing downtown development the, um, federal way.