“Casually Hip” Elemental Pizza Coming to Tacoma?

It looks like downtown Tacoma could be getting a new pizza place. UWT is is beginning the work of negotiating the permitting process to make improvements to the old Grassi's  space at the northeast corner of campus.

Included in this week's Landmarks Preservation Commission packets is a description from the university of plans for upgrades to the wedge-shaped building at the corner of 17th and Pacific. The proposed tenant, Elemental Pizza, which has a first location at University Village in Seattle, is described as "casually hip."

Built in 1892, the building was first home to the Wynkoop Drug Company / Pagni & Lenti Grocery, then the Little Country Grocery Store. In 1987 it was remodeled and renamed the Alice Mack Building. After two decades as the tenant, Grassi's moved to University Place last year (where it is now Grassi's Ristorante), leaving the space available. UWT has renamed it the Pagni and Lenti Building after its original tenants. 

Perhaps the biggest of the proposed upgrades to the building is a deck with outdoor seating overlooking the Prairie Line Trail that runs through campus. The proposed 600 square foot raised patio would align with the second floor of the PAL building, and would be designed to fit in with the loading dock aesthetic you see along the trail through campus, referencing the railroad and freight history of the rail line. The lower portion of windows along that section of wall would be filled in, and one would be opened up as a door for access to the patio. The patio itself would be designed to have minimal impact on the historic building, leaving open the potential for future removal of the structure.

With work under way in earnest on the Prairie Line Trail, which runs right behind the the Pagni & Lenti (PAL) building, the university is looking to improve connectivity and activity levels in the area. The UWT Station section of the trail is scheduled for completion early this fall. The PAL project is still early in the planning process, working on permit documents and project scope, but exterior changes including the deck will ultimately need LPC approval.

So we won't be enjoying pizza on the patio this summer, but maybe next year...

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