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Archives: Sep. 2009


Proctor boutique going out of business

Julia Ellen, the upscale boutique that’s called Proctor home for 15 years, is closing its doors.

“I’ve done this for 32 years total, 20 years of owning my own, and you hit the point where you are done,” owner Julie Schmidtke said today. “We decided this was the best time of year to have a big closing sale.”

It started Thursday, and the store will close when everything’s gone, she said.

Schmidtke said that she started about 18 months ago to try to find a buyer for the store but that all of them fell through.

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Washington touts its advantages to Boeing

Washington residents are smarter, its aerospace taxes are lower, its unemployment fund more stable, its aircraft industry infrastructure is more extensive, its workforce more experienced and its quality of life superior.

So why would Boeing consider opening a second 787 Dreamliner assembly line in South Carolina or any other state?

That’s the question Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire asks in a new report aimed at persuading Boeing to open that second Dreamliner assembly line here.

Gregoire presented that report recently to Jim Albaugh, the new head of the company’s Commercial Airplanes Group. She released it to the public

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United, American adding holiday surcharges to fares

In a move to take advantage of the surge in post-holidays traffic, United and American airlines are adding a $10 surcharge to tickets on three of the busiest travel days of the year.

The extra fares apply to travel on Jan. 2 and 3 and on Nov. 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Higher fares typically apply to the busiest days during the holidays, but this is the first time that domestic carriers have imposed a specific holiday surcharge on tickets.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is typically the busiest or second busiest on the airline calendar. The post-New

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Ex-Starbucks chief gets Haggen job

Jim Donald, former Starbucks president, has been named president and chief executive officer at Northwest grocery chain Haggen Inc.

Haggen owns 33 TOP Food & Drug and Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores. The chain is headquaretered in Bellingham.

Before joining Starbucks, Donald served as president and CEO of Pathmark stores, a 143-store regional supermarket chain on the East Coast. He was also president of Safeway’s Eastern Division and as vice president of food merchandising at Wal-Mart Stores.

Donald, who grew Starbucks to more than 15,000 stores in 43 countries,

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What Tacoma buildings do you like?

The city of Tacoma lost the Luzon building this past weekend. That’s gotten us thinking about other historic buildings in the area.

We want to know what buildings you consider to be historic gems, what are your favorites and why?

Here are two early favorites, the old Elks Temple and Old City Hall.


Attorney General’s office moving to Brewery District

The Tacoma office of the attorney general’s office is moving from downtown to the Brewery District.

The state’s General Administration department announced Friday that MJR Development, a Kirkland-based firm, was the successful bidder on 36,000 square feet of office space sought by the Tacoma office.

Currently they occupy six floors in the Washington Building at 1019 Pacific Ave, where their lease is up in June. They’ll move to the Jet building at 2101 Jefferson Ave. on Dec. 10, 2010, said Cheral Jones of the General Administration department.

David Morton, property manager for the Washington Building, couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

According to the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Web site, the property at 2101 Jefferson Ave. was built in 1919 and is a storage warehouse owned by glass artist Dale Chihuly. It’s on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 21st Street, which leads to an entrance to Interstate 705 just a few blocks down.

It’s unclear if MJR Development has bought the building from Chihuly. Mark Lahaie, the contact for MJR listed on its bid to the state, could not be reached for comment Friday.

According to MJR’s bid, the building will be renovated inside to Class A office space with LEED environmental certification while maintaining its distinctive brick structure outside.

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Luzon to come down Saturday


The demolition of the Luzon is on track for 7 a.m. tomorrow after representatives of a local developer failed to convince city officials that they could quickly remove the risk of its collapse.

Stuart Young of the architecture firm BCRA presented information from a Seattle-based engineer that the building was not in imminent danger of collapse and could be shored up within 4-6 weeks, then rehabilitated at some point.

After a 50-minute meeting at the Municipal Building, city manager Eric Anderson was unconvinced that that would mitigate the danger.

“That’s if everything works out all right, but if it doesn’t work out all right, someone could get killed,” he told the group. “Charlie (Solverson, city building manager,) has indicated his opinion has not changed. We have to go forward. I don’t see an alternative. I’m not prepared to risk public safety. It’s regrettable.”

Present at the meeting were Anderson, Solverson, Young, and historic preservation consultant Michael Sullivan.

During the discussion, Anderson expressed frustration about the history of the building.

“I wish there were representatives of two to three other people here,” he said.”One would be those who have owned it for years and didn’t do a … thing.”

Young said he had a letter from the Gintz Group, agreeing to deed the building to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. He also said he had a letter from Terry Lundeen, a principal at Coughlin Porter Lundeen in Seattle.

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