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A glimmer of progress for downtown Tacoma’s planned McMenamins

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Feb. 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm with No Comments »
February 22, 2013 9:18 am

McMenamins has taken another step toward beginning work at the downtown Tacoma Elks Temple.

Earlier this month, the company picked up their building permit — one of the last steps during the pre-construction phase of any building project.

Tacoma's old Elks Lodge, shown Feb. 3. Photo by Peter Haley / Staff photographer
Tacoma’s old Elks Lodge, shown Feb. 3. Photo by Peter Haley / Staff photographer

“We were very excited,” Sue Coffman of City of Tacoma’s permit center told me this afternoon after I called to check in.

I haven’t been able to connect with the Portland-based brewpub operator during the last few months, when I’ve been trying to find out when it might begin work in Tacoma. It lists an opening date of “late 2013″ on its web page dedicated to the Tacoma project, but a spokesman told me last summer that the opening probably will be at least a year after construction begins.

Building permits are valid for five years, as long as some work is done every six months. Developers also can ask for extensions. Coffman said the Tacoma Elks permit has some deferred items, such as those related to plumbing and mechanical systems, which isn’t unusual.

“Those are typically contractor permits,” she said. “To me that indicates they’re still in the process of hiring their contractors.”

A McMenamins spokeswoman told me via email that she’s trying to find out more. I’ll post here if there’s an update.

UPDATE, 4:00 p.m.: Renee Rank Ignacio, marketing director for McMenamins, just called. She said the company still didn’t have a start date nailed down, because there are a few things that still must be lined up. She wouldn’t expand on what those are, but said everyone is glad Tacoma project is moving forward.

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