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28 Proctor Proposes Higher Density Development

From time to time in the recent past, we’ve heard rumblings of something big coming to Proctor. Reactions tend to be mixed to the idea of a large scale mixed-use development in the Proctor District. So here’s the latest: a project page from Rick Moses Development shows a couple images of a proposed development that would hold 135 apartments above 12,000 square feet of retail at street level.

28 Proctor is a strategically located mixed-use project situated in the City of Tacoma’s Proctor Mixed-Use Center district. Fronting North Proctor Street, the undertaking proposes a blend of new multi-family residential, retail, and parking uses in a development that takes advantage of the City’s new, forward thinking zoning regulations. Appropriately scaled to fit the City’s goal to promote the development of desirable, convenient multi-family housing in mixed-use districts by rehabilitating and improving existing vacant and underutilized parcels.

RM/d [Rick Moses Development] was brought in as a partner to manage the development and leasing of the 135 apartments as well as 12,000 square feet of ground level retail. Rick is responsible for all aspects of this multi-story urban development project.

A story from The News Tribune covers what few details there are about the development, and the many more objections and concerns from neighborhood stakeholders. There are a lot of moving pieces in considering a development of this size for an established neighborhood. There’s no timeline for development, no details on financing, and not many project details.

So, are we ready for a little more density in Proctor?

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Dense, urban development like this is encouraged by the mixed use zoning of the Proctor Mixed Use Center.  Part of the reason why there is as much bus service as there is in Proctor is because it IS a mixed use center.  I support this and I hope that others aren’t short sighted in rejecting what will be more residents and more retail space.

That said, I hope that there is some process for architectural facade review though, just to ensure that what is visible is attractive.

March 22, 2013 at 11:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I read the <span class=“caps”>TNT</span> article.  I think it’s kinda funny that the go to catch all objection for anything in Tacoma is always “where is everyone going to park? 

I’m all for more density, and an even more vibrant Proctor district. Hopefully Babbling Babs finds a new home.

March 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Just think, living there you are two blocks from two grocery stores, a library, multiple restaurants, bars, and a farmers market. Walkscore is 89, whuch is really good.  Plus it’s served by 3 or 4 different bus routes. A person could live there and barely need a car.

March 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Buck Futz

And you really wouldn’t need a car, if they could only extend the end of the new <span class=“caps”>LINK</span> line from <span class=“caps”>UPS</span> to Proctor.

March 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Dan H.

Would be pretty cool.  I’m a fan of Babblin’ Babs and I hope that if this thing happens they find a new space, but I’m not going to hold my breath for for this thing.  I mean the apartment building/ McMennamins hotel on top of a city parking garage is supposed to open this summer right?

March 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


This is insanity.  The plan is to put 135 apartments and five to six stories in a neighborhood that has no building over three stories and right across the street from Mason Middle school.  This is a two-lane road and the kids play Frogger already trying not to get hit by cars already.  Washington-Hoyt is two blocks away.  What “sprawl” is this preventing?  The Proctor Neighborhood has been developed for and essentially the same for 50+ years.  This is nothing more than a connected businessman’s way of getting more money by ruining an existing neighborhood under the guise that it is good for the environment.  Walk down 28th street any night from October through March when it is raining.  The run-off problems there are enormous and the bottom of 28th street regularly floods.  There are plans for a two-story parking garage that will have to dump out on a two lane road.  People aren’t going to magically take a bus.

March 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


It doesn’t take magic to get on a bus. An Orca card certainly helps, but they use <span class=“caps”>RFID</span> chips.  Although they may seem magical, they really aren’t.

March 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Their chances of being able to take a bus are getting slimmer with Pierce Transit’s upcoming cutbacks.

So I agree with RustyJohn.There will be more motor vehicle traffic not less.

March 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Yes, with more people comes more traffic, that would be obvious.  It’s private property, and apparently zoned for this type of use.  It’s still a free country, so the owner can build whatever he can afford to build, and the zoning laws allow.

March 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Erik B.

Covering up a dirt lot and one story strip mall would be a huge win for walk-ability and vibrancy of Proctor.

The proposed building would have retail on the first floor and would be built right up to the edge of the property placing it in the top one percent of building constructed in the last 60 years in Tacoma.

99 percent of buildings in Tacoma in the last 60 years have been little more than strip malls and/or one story buildings with huge parking lots.

The few areas in Tacoma that are walkable and vibrant in the city were mostly built before <span class=“caps”>WWII</span>.

March 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I wonder how many of the pro faction live close to this proposed grandiosity. That is a lot of people to cram into an already busy and parking-challenged neighborhood. As a nearby owner of a small bungalow, I can’t help but think this would decrease the quality of life in the neighborhood and depress property values of those unfortunate enough to live close by.

I ride the bus hours a day to get to work in Lakewood. The bus system is crumbling with more cutbacks scheduled this September.

March 29, 2013 at 9:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply

the usual jamie

Proctor has parking problems like Sixth Ave has parking problems like Downtown has parking problems. As in: not at all.

March 29, 2013 at 10:02 am / Reply / Quote and reply


One time, the day before thanksgiving, I had to park a half block from met market to do my shopping. That was extremely inconvenient.

March 29, 2013 at 10:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Asking where people are going to park today is really the wrong question.  We should be encouraging people to take other modes of transport.  It has been suggested in the past that a Sound Transit bus connecting Proctor to Seattle could be worth exploring.  I could see that helping as well as some dedicated bike parking infrastructure.  You can fit a lot more bikes in one car parking space.

March 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

fred davie

The drawing makes it look like this is a huge development site. It’s not. There’s one pretty good sized parcel at 28th and Proctor and a smaller lot across the alleyway which is just a gravel parking lot. The final scale for height should be relative to it’s footprint. It seems like three stories might be a better fit.

Nevertheless we should encourage the mixed use areas to go up. My preference is <span class=“caps”>RETAIL</span> and <span class=“caps”>RESTAURANTS</span> on the ground floor with attractive architectural finishes and residential and offices on floors 2 and above. No more offices on ground level. These places close up at 5PM and are counterproductive to creating a vibrant urban feel.

Pretty sure Erling and Bill will come up with a solid proposal the neighborhood will like. These guys know what will be good for Proctor.

March 30, 2013 at 8:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Agreed.  No offices on the ground floor.  There’s too much potential for them to simply shut their blinds and it creates dead space on the street.

March 30, 2013 at 9:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Paul White

Stop thinking about parking and learn how to walk.

April 3, 2013 at 9:46 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I live in the area and I am all for it!  More density = more people and more businesses.  People need to stop freaking out about parking and learn how to walk a half block…not a big deal unless you are extremely lazy.  As for the kids playing “frogger” you havent obviously seen the cross walk installed that allows for kids to walk across whenever they want and the 20mph speed limit on Proctor during school hours.

April 3, 2013 at 10:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply


When can Tacoma condemn property and/or attempt to use “imminent domain” to force resident(s) to sell their property to the city or to a developer for “progress”? Would the developer get impact tax waivers that the local residents end up paying? Example, who pays for upgrading the local utilities, street sizing, etc., to accommodate the multistoried building? There are a lot of costly issues to be clarified for all to be aware of in an undertaking of this magnitude.

May 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


For better or worse, the Proctor district we have known will be history. Hang on to your hat!

December 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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