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Chinese Investors Propose 2-Tower, 30-Story Downtown Development
A group of Chinese investors wants to build a hotel and mixed-use project on a two-acre City-owned site next to the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in downtown Tacoma.
According to a staff memo to Tacoma City Council, Yareton Investment & Management WA LLC of Seattle, a subsidiary of Shanghai Mintong Real Estate Company Ltd., was identified as the best match with City objectives for the sale of the site at 17th and Broadway.
According to details included in the memo, the investment group is proposing a two tower development, with a primary tower of 25 to 34 stories on the lower side of the property, and a secondary tower of 12 to 15 stories just uphill. The plan puts a 300-key hotel in the lower half of the primary tower, and condos in the upper half. The secondary tower would be all residential, for a total of 150 to 220 condos between the two towers. The project would also include 10,000 to 60,000 square-feet of street-level retail, and at least 400 parking spots.Yareton would not ask for subsidies for its proposed project.
In response to a January Request For Interest for developers to construct a hotel and mixed-use project on the site, the City of Tacoma received five proposals, including one from Provenance Hotels (parent company to the Hotel Murano) and one from Hollander Investments (which operates the Courtyard Mariott across from the Convention Center, and has been trying for years to put a hotel on the Foss).
The Murano response essentially said that the 250 room minimum envisioned in the RFI for the site would not be supported by demand. Three other offers would have required either outright subsidies for development, or financial investment from the City and/or community; the need for subsidies makes those offers a no-go based on a recent deal struck between the City and Provenance. With other offers ruled out, the $200 million Yareton project was the only viable proposal.
Yareton plans to fund the project largely through private investors under the federal EB-5 foreign investor visa program (in which investors from foreign countries are granted a visa in exchange for investing their own money in development in the US). According to The News Tribune, Yareton would fund the project partially through this program, and partially with loans from Chinese banks. The TNT reports that if approved Yareton's plans could have the hotel open for business by summer of 2017, with the second tower ready in early 2018.
That's if the Chinese investors get the green light.
An item appearing on tomorrow's City Council meeting agenda would give City staff the go-ahead to begin negotiations...
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