The municipal authority that promotes and governs redevelopment of downtown Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway has named Su Dowie as its executive director.
Dowie had served as the authority’s interim director for three and a half years since executive director Don Meyer retired. Dowie joined the authority in 1998. Before her appointment as interim director, she was the authority’s second-in-command.
The authority delayed naming a permanent replacement for Meyer, now a Port of Tacoma commissioner, because the authority’s finances were hit hard by the recession. Development activity along the formerly industrial waterway ground to a halt in 2008, impacting the authority’s income from land sales.
In recent months, under Dowie’s guidance, development activity has revived. A major apartment building is in the planning stages for a lot adjacent to the 21st Street cable-stayed bridge. A waterfront hotel years in the planning may see its ground-breaking soon, and Johnny’s Seafood, a longtime waterway merchant, is beginning a major upgrade project.
The authority has purchased a waterfront lot south of the Murray Morgan Bridge to provide more public open space on the waterway’s middle section. A seaplane float, a joint project of the authority and the Tacoma Waterfront Association, is due to be dedicated next month at the north end of the waterway.
The elevation to executive director will bring with it a substantial salary increase for Dowie, who has performed two jobs, her old job and the interim director’s job, without a salary increase. The new position will pay $127,656 annually compared with Dowie’s former $91,000 annual compensation.