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4 Ideas for Old City Hall

In September the City of Tacoma released an RFI asking interested parties for their proposals for what to do with Old City Hall. Today The News Tribune reports that four proposals were submitted by the October 30 deadline.

The City bought the hotel last summer for $4 million. It hopes to turn around and sell the property to an interested developer. Aside from recouping that $4 million, the City's goals for the project include preserving the 1892 building, creating jobs, generating foot traffic at the north end of Pacific Avenue, maximizing tax revenues, and finding a project that will "mesh well with surrounding development.

The City has yet to release the proposals, but here's some of what The News Tribune found out about the four propsals (read more from the TNT):

A boutique hotel. Grace Pleasants (who you might remember from the Albers Mill project and her involvement with the original McMenamins/Elks Lodge deal) is part of this proposal to turn OCH into a 110-room boutique hotel. Highlights: a covered simming pool, operated by a global chain, and an artsy/techy vibe.

Office space. A Seattle real estate group is considering turning several of the upper floors into offices similar to the Union Station project the company completed, which now houses Sound Transit headquarters.

Another McMenamins? The Portland-based company isn't talking about what it submitted to the City on this one, but with the Elks project just across the street possibly opening as early as spring 2017, a proposal from McMenamin would "blend with" that project.

A high-end bar and antique gallery. Former state senator Larry Faulk from Steilacoom thinks Tacoma's historic Old City Hall building would make a great pace for a Ralph Lauren polo bar and retail store and M.S. Rau Antiques gallery. Faulk would carry out the project with funding from Ralph Lauren; the state capital budget; and a collection of 100 smaller funders, many from the Tacoma area.

The City has 30 days to decide whether any of these proposals makes the cut. What would you choose?

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One McMenamins is a great addition to the downtown.  Two McMenamins, in a campus, like proposed, is a legitimate tourist attraction.

I would urge the decision makers to visit McMenamins Edgefield in Oregon before they make their decision.  It’s a campus McMenamins that draws the crowds.  Ask them to see their guest book.  I bet the people are from all over the place.


November 6, 2015 at 12:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Another relevant campus would be around the Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland.  Maybe even more relevant.

November 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 1

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