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Category: Downtown Tacoma

June
13th

Another success from Spaceworks Tacoma: Grit City GrindHouse opens next week

A shop offering skateboards, longboards and custom art will celebrate its grand opening June 21.

Grit City GrindHouse will operate in the St. Helens neighborhood, just down the hill from Puget Sound Pizza on South 7th Street. The GrindHouse is the latest success from the Spaceworks Tacoma program, which matches artists with vacant commercial space to both enliven neighborhoods and incubate business.

The program began in the summer of 2010 and has worked with more than 100 artists or artist teams in 24 spaces around downtown Tacoma. I profiled some of the business success stories last year,

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June
13th

Good morning, Tacoma! Here’s a lovely view of downtown from last evening

Reader Chris Yates snapped a photo of the former Russell headquarters building yesterday evening and sent it along to us with the caption: “Something going on at The Russell Building?”

Yes indeed, Chris! State Farm is doing tenant improvements, and we’re eagerly awaiting life in that building again. Thanks for sharing the photo!

June
11th

UPDATED: More apartments planned for Tacoma’s St. Helens neighborhood?

As Exit133.com noted earlier today, one of the developers of The Metropolitan, at 245 St. Helens Ave., is going through environmental review for a new 121-unit apartment building.

The Land Use application, published yesterday, is a public document, and can be read here. It’s a PDF. It also shows the project is in the very early permitting stages.

The details included there show the project would be at the corner of Broadway and South 4th Street, just down the hill from the existing Metropolitan on what is now a vacant lot used for parking. In addition to apartments, the

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June
5th

Seaplane float formally opens on Tacoma’s Foss Waterway

The project took nearly five years of planning and fundraising, but Tacoma finally has a dock where seaplanes can tie up.

The new dock at the mouth of the Thea Foss Waterway near downtown was formally dedicated at noon Wednesday. Two seaplanes, one individually owned, and the other from the nation’s largest seaplane airline, Kenmore Air, arrived to celebrate the dock’s inaugural.

Tacoma Deputy Mayor Marty Campbell said the new dock was another step in making Tacoma “a world-class city” with amenities befitting that status.

Until the new dock was installed near Thea’s Park on the west side of the

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June
4th

Investor with ties to Bellevue developer buys downtown Tacoma’s Columbia Bank Building

An investor with close ties to Bellevue mega-developer F. Kemper Freeman Jr. has bought one of downtown Tacoma’s historic retail cornerstones, the Columbia Bank Building.

But Howard McQuaid said his purchase of the 88,000-square-foot former department store at 1102 Broadway Plaza doesn’t indicate a shift in Kemper Development Co.’s Bellevue focus.

“It was a personal investment,” said McQuaid Tuesday. “There is no connection with Kemper Development Co.”

McQuaid is vice president of leasing and development for Kemper Development and Kemper Freeman’s son-in-law. Kemper Development created the Bellevue Square shopping center and the connected Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place mixed-use developments.

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May
30th

Foss seaplane float dedication set for Wednesday noon

It isn’t exactly Sea-Tac Airport, but Tacoma next week will open a significant addition to the area’s aeronautical assets.

A long-sought seaplane float will be formally dedicated at noon Wednesday on the west side of the Thea Foss Waterway near Thea’s Park.

The float will be only the second such facility in Pierce County. The other is located on American Lake.

The float was a joint project of the Tacoma Waterfront Association and the Foss Waterway Development Authority.  The pre-owned dock was donated by Tacoma’s Marine Floats Inc., and the association and the authority raised funds for planning of the

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May
28th

California-based apartment developer buys Tacoma’s Chelsea Heights and might soon own Albers Mill

A California-based apartment developer has bought Chelsea Heights in Tacoma, has an offer in on Albers Mill and its eyes on other properties in the city.

ColRich, headquartered in San Diego, bought Chelsea Heights for $18.8 million earlier this month, two years after a Seattle-based company snapped it up for $15 million after a bank foreclosed on the Prium subsidiary that owned it. (You remember Prium, right?)

Jim Jensen of Hendricks-Berkadia, who brokered the deal, told me this afternoon that news of State Farm’s plans to expand to downtown Tacoma helped seal the deal for ColRich.

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May
28th

Foss Waterway Development Authority elevates interim director to permanent status

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

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