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A New Asia Pacific Cultural Center at Point Ruston?
In 2011 we watched with interest as the Asia Pacific Cultural Center proposed building a new cultural center in downtown Tacoma on the vacant City-owned lots adjacent to the Brewery District and UW Tacoma campus.
After some back and forth between APCC and the City, that project ultimately didn't go forward. Now it looks like they've got a new idea: bringing their plans for a large mixed-use cultural center to the Point Ruston area. It's a pretty grand vision - residential units, retail, a grocery store, food court, and cultural center with classrooms, a theater, training kitchens, display rooms, and a variety of courtyards and garden spaces.
Although they've been keeping fairly quiet about it, the idea has apparently been in the works for a while now. In 2014 design firm Environmental Works began work on a feasibility study funded by a Seattle Foundation GiveBIG partnership. The study would clarify the vision for the APCC and potential partners and donors to look at whether or not the waterfront location makes sense.
An article this week in Northwest Asian Weekly looks at the new Point Ruston idea - including funding for the potential $87 million project. The APCC would like to work with EB-5 foreign investors, as well as federal, state, and private funding sources.
Then there's the question of acquiring the land. The article describes "friendly conversations" between APCC and Point Ruston, relating to a possible $5 million purchase of 4 acres of Point Ruston property - $5 million they're hoping gets included in the budget in the current legislative session.
We haven't seen the results of the feasibility study, or anything like a detailed site plan yet, and there's no talk from Point Ruston, or the City of Ruston yet, but it appears the proposal is to build the project on the Ruston side of the development. We also see a couple different square-footage numbers - 176,000 in the Environmental Works post from 2014, and a significantly higher 390,000 square feet in this week's NW Asian Weekly article. It's clearly still in very early stages.
In a note on the APCC website, founder Patsy Surh O'Connell describes the construction of a new center as "the next necessary big step" for the organization. We'll be waiting to see whether they'll be taking that step in the Point Ruston neighborhood.
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