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Tacoma: State awards city stimulus bonds for T-Dome parking project

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Dec. 6, 2010 at 10:44 am with 5 Comments »
December 6, 2010 3:20 pm

The state has awarded the City of Tacoma the rights to sell $9.4 million in federal stimulus bonds that will help the city erect a modular parking garage next to the Tacoma Dome.

The award essentially authorizes the city to issue special tax exempt bonds for the parking project, which aims to build a pre-fabricated structure to create some 600 new parking spaces.

We recently wrote about the T-Dome parking project when the city sought to obtain the unused stimulus bonds that were becoming available (The accompanying demonstration video also provides a look at the type of modular parking structure now being eyed for the project). Some of the project’s details have since changed from our last report, including a decision over where the prospective structure will be located.

City officials are now planning to build two pre-fabricated garages on existing Tacoma Dome lots other than the one initially proposed, across from the Dome at 27th and D Streets, just west of the LeMay Museum.

The new project sites include building one modular garage with about 250 spaces on the Dome’s I and J lots, located between the dome and the Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel. A second, larger modular garage consisting of 350 to 400 spaces would then be built on Lot G, located behind the Dome to the northeast. The new locations would offer motorists easier access to I-5, officials say.

In all, the structures would replace about 600 of the roughly 1,000 parking spaces lost due to development of the LeMay museum, city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff said today. The city is also looking at providing shuttle services for Dome patrons to other nearby parking areas, including the Pierce Transit lot, he added.

City public works officials are now preparing bid documents for the project, though bid selection, contract award and construction likely won’t occur until next year, McNair-Huff said.

Here’s a press release from Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s office last week announcing that Tacoma’s parking project is among those to win stimulus grants statewide:

More than $83 million in bonds to spur job creation authorized

Funds will support economic development and create or retain an estimated 560 jobs in Clallam, Clark, King, Pierce, Skagit, Whatcom and Yakima Counties

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Department of Commerce announced today that nine jurisdictions have been granted authority to issue more than $77.8 million of Recovery Zone Bonds and $5.3 million in Small-Issue Private Activity Bonds.

The bonds will finance 10 local projects, which will create or retain more than 560 jobs across the state.

“Jobs are the way out of this recession,” Gregoire said. “Helping communities finance projects that preserve their quality of life and support new and expanded business activity is a wise investment in our state economy.”

All bonds will be issued before the end of this year.

Since April 2010, more than $120 million of Recovery Zone and Small-Issue bonds have been issued, leveraging nearly $200 million in construction project activity. Commerce estimates these cumulative bond issuances have created more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs with an annual payroll of nearly $145 million.


City of Battle Ground
$4.2 million
Scotten Way: Road development in the Scotten Way Commerce Center.

King County
$23.2 million
N.E. Novelty Hill Road Project: First phase of a road project to relieve congestion east of Redmond. It includes the replacement of the Evans Creed Bridge.

King County
$5.8 million
Energy Conservation Projects: Upgrade of heating and air conditioning systems in three King County facilities to reduce energy cost by more than twenty percent.

Pierce County
$5.3 million
Frederico Enterprises: Acquisition and remodel of 82,000 square-foot facility to process salmon for distribution to local supermarkets.

Port of Port Angeles
$4.8 million
Composite Manufacturing Campus: Expansion of an aerospace manufacturing facility used by Angeles Composite Technologies.

City of Seattle
$13.3 million
System Enhancements and Service Center Remodel: Capacity improvements to several substations and their electrical network systems.

Skagit County
$9.3 million
Skagit County Transfer Station: Construction of a new solid waste transfer station.

City of Tacoma
$9.4 million
Tacoma Dome Parking Facility: Construction of a new parking garage at the Tacoma Dome.

Whatcom County
$1.8 million
Jail Control Replacement Project: Replaces failing security systems within the Whatcom County jail.

Yakima County
$6 million
Monson Fruit Company: Installation of modern apple-packaging equipment.

“These strategic investments help strengthen the partnership between business and government, leading to job creation and economic development,” said Rogers Weed, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “Tools like the Bond Cap Program give local governments crucial resources they need to support business growth.”

The Bond Cap Allocation Program helps state and local jurisdictions provide tax-exempt bond financing for projects with substantial private investment and resulting in public benefits such as job creation, environmental protection, creating affordable housing, assisting first-time home buyers, and improving public infrastructure.

Learn more about the Bond Cap Allocation and Community Renewal Program at http://www.commerce.wa.gov/site/305/default.aspx


Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. chip98404 says:

    Ok, so the city created a parking problem at the Dome by giving its parking lots to the folks at LeMay to build a museum (and I am not against the museum…). Now, since we have a parking problem, they get stimulus money to build new parking. So, in effect, we are donating stimulus money to the LeMay people to build their museum. Lovely.

  2. JeffTacoma says:

    Chip, do not look at the man behind the curtain…….

  3. Frankly this makes no sense, the city messes things up and the stimulus bonds fix it. Makes no sense whatso ever and no real jobs from it either. And personally this whole Lemay thing has been going on for years and I dont care and I dont want my tax dollars to fix it

  4. papasan says:

    deb: does ANYTHING the city does EVER make sense???
    They give away the parking lot to Lemay for a museum that is supposed to make us a tourist destination (like the glass museum and the TAM brought tourists here in droves) and then they get stimulus money to build a parking structure to replace what they gave away. Who wants to bet that the new parking structure will be adjacent to the Car Museum and used by them- for a fee, of course??
    Yet, we have streets that lack sidewalks and volkswagen-sized potholes.
    I’ve said it time after time: PRIORITIES, Tacoma! It’s about priorities! When will we get a City Council that can direct this City towards sensable PRIORITIES???

  5. ransteth says:

    Papasan, if you actually read the article you are commenting on, it describes the exact location of the garages. They are on the OTHER side of the dome.

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