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Category: Economic Development


Free cake, no protests as Walmart opens its first Tacoma store

With speeches, cheers and a prayer, Tacoma’s first Walmart store opened Wednesday morning.

Dozens of patrons waited for the doors to open at 8 a.m. as Walmart officials and dignitaries gathered in a semicircle before a makeshift stage to bear witness to $68,000 in charitable contributions and a brief history of the company which, on Wednesday, saw the opening of 24 stores nationwide and two in state – in Tacoma and Vancouver.

“Building this store has been a journey,” said Tom McReynolds, a Walmart manager who oversees nine stores in the Puget

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Finnish ice breaker departs Tacoma area for Alaska

A Finnish multi-purpose ice-breaker that spent much of last weekend in Tacoma and at the entrance to Quartermaster Harbor off Vashon Island departed early Monday for Dutch Harbor in Alaska.

After a brief, early morning stop in Seattle, the MSV Nordica headed out the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the 49th State.

The bulbous-bowed, 381-foot-long vessel is contracted to Shell Offshore by Arctia Offshore Ltd. for use in exploration activities in the seas off the north coast of Alaska.  The Nordica and its sister ship Fennica are part of a flotilla of ice-breakers, anchor-handling ships, supply vessels and tankers

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Mitzel’s American Kitchen in Fife will close next week; Puyallup Tribe will redevelop the building as another restaurant

Mitzel’s American Kitchen, located at 5402 Pacific Highway E. in Fife, will close on Tuesday, July 23, according to Greg Kjellesvik of Ehli Auctions.

The Tacoma auction house will conduct an online auction of the fixtures and equipment at the Fife restaurant. For further information on the auction, visit

The Fife property is owed by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, which intends to redevelop the building and open a tribal restaurant.

John Weymer, spokesman for the tribe, said Sunday that the tribe did not renew Mitzel’s lease.

“The tribe is planing on running a restaurant themselves,” he

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Tacoma’s first new major hotel in eight years opens near UWT

When Caroline Curtis and Vickie Molzer unlocked the front doors of the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Tacoma  Thursday afternoon, that simple, unceremonious event marked the informal end of seven years of planning, negotiation and construction that brought Tacoma its newest major hotel.

First conceived in 2006, the hotel developed by Seattle-based Hotel Concepts, slogged its way through numerous city design reviews, architectural modifications and the sluggish economy to finally become reality at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Curtis, operations manager for hotel operator BMI Hospitality and Molzer, the hotel’s first general manager, did the honors, and the hotel received its first guests.

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Tacoma-built high-technology fishing boat heading for Alaska

A boat whose bright blue hull had become a landmark along Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway over the last few months has bid goodbye to Tacoma and the shipyard that built it.

The Northern Leader, the largest commercial fishing boat built in the Northwest in the last two decades, left its moorings at J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Co. Sunday afternoon headed to Seattle for some brief final outfitting.  The vessel, 184 feet long and 42 feet wide, will then sail to Alaska where it will begin its working life.

The vessel’s departure was marked by a relatively rare occurrence, the raising of

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Tacoma Walmart workers busy stocking shelves – opening set for July 17

The rosebushes are blooming in the parking lot and the baked beans and peanut butter are on the shelves at Walmart Store No. 4137, the 52nd in the state and the first within the Tacoma city limits.

More than 300 newly hired employees have been busy these past few days stocking the shelves while workers outside finished striping the parking lot.

At a staff meeting as the afternoon shift reported for duty Tuesday, the cheer went up inside: “4-1-3-7, shopping here is shopping heaven!”

Store manager Adam Fann announced Tuesday that the store will open to the public

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Boeing begins building first 767-based tanker for Air Force

Boeing workers at the company’s Everett plant have begun building the first major piece of the company’s new KC-46A airborne tanker for the Air Force.

Those workers have begun building the wings for the twin-engine tanker, which is based on Boeing’s 767 airliner.

Final assembly of the first KC46-A will begin in November at the plant with the first aircraft due to roll out of the factory early next year.  The plane will fly to Seattle’s Boeing Field in late spring next year to be outfitted with military equipment.

The first fully equipped tanker is expected to fly for the

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New Foss apartment could break ground in September

A new waterfront apartment building, the first built on downtown Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway since the recession began six years ago, could break ground as early as September.

The 167-unit Henry Apartments are planned for a site between the existing Albers Mill and the Interstate 509 cable-stayed bridge over the waterway.

The Foss Waterway Development Authority has been expediting the deal that will allow the construction to begin since early this spring when it requested proposals for the site.

The authority’s board Wednesday night voted unanimously to sell the lot, called Site 1 by the authority, to the Henry Group,

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