Group Challenges Planned Pierce County Administration Building Location

A Tacoma group isn't happy about plans for a new consolidated Pierce County administration building to be built at South 36th and Pacific, on the site of the old Puget Sound Hospital. They're asking the County to take a second look at keeping more of its office space downtown

According to The News Tribune, the group, calling themselves "Pierce County Together," likes the idea of consolidating County services in one place, but they'd like that place to be somewhere in the downtown core. Keeping Pierce County offices downtown, they say, would save jobs in the area and would give employees better access to transit.

The new building will put 1,300 employees currently working at the Pierce County Annex near the Tacoma Mall, the Pierce County Health Department, and downtown offices, under one roof. The County says this would save money on rent and other efficiencies. According to the TNT, the County would need to build parking structures to locate all those employees downtown.

The County Council is scheduled to make a final decision in February to allow construction on the building to begin this year, with doors opening on the new building in 2016. At this point it seems like a done deal, with pretty solid support from the council, but Pierce County Together says there wasn't been enough public process prior to decisions being made. In response to these concerns, the TNT says three County council members (Rick Talbert, Connie Ladenburg, and Derek Young), who represent parts of Tacoma, have scheduled a January 22 town hall meeting to share more information on the plans for the new building.

1,300 employees in one place would bring more people to wherever they're located, whether that's downtown or the Lincoln District.

It may be too late for new plans, but where would you like to see consolidated County offices built?

Town hall meeting on the proposed county administration building:
Where: Pierce County Annex conference room, 2401 S. 35th St.
When: January 22, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Read more from The News Tribune or on the Pierce County website.

Previously from Exit133: Plans for New Pierce County Admin Building.

 

UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): The County sent out a link to a "revised traffic study" posted today. You can view it by clicking here, or on the Pierce County PALS page under "documents" (look for "revised traffic study - Jan 15, 2015").

Also, the comment period for the Environmental Checklist and the revised traffic study has been extended to January 22, 2015.

Comments can be provided to Melanie Halsan:
Email: MHalsan@co.pierce.wa.us
Mail:   2401 South 35th Street, Ste 175, Tacoma, WA  98409-7490


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Comments

JesseRegistered

I will be there on the 22nd as I was starting to feel like I was the only person in the county to see this location as a huge mistake and a loss of potential for downtown and the county. 

Points of interest (to me):
-  The county knows this location is out of context or it wouldn’t be putting in special shades to stop light pollution into the surrounding neighborhood.
-  When State Farm came to downtown, it gave the catalyst for some pretty impressive mixed-use projects worth millions and tax dollars to the county and city for decades to come.
-  The county has leverage with the city here.  Use it to trade a county acceptable jail services rate from Tacoma in exchange for a downtown build.  Meeting halfway would save the county $13m - far less than the cost of purchasing a parcel to build on.
-  If the downtown were chosen for the consolidation site, would the second tower of the Convention Center project be negotiated to be built right now?  Again, more tax dollars.
-  1300 jobs in downtown, or 1300 jobs at 36th and Pacific?  Which does more for shopping, density, restaurant patronage?
-  There has been no economic impact study done comparing a downtown location with the proposed location.  They don’t want one done because it would muddy the waters and ease of cramming this through.
-  The city needs to replace 160 parking spots from the convention center deal as well as possible streetcar parking elsewhere.  Why not combine this money with the sale of city owned properties (possible to the county?) to help pay for the needed garage.
-  Park place North is only worth $2m and has almost 500 parking spots.  It’s on transit lines.  Why isn’t that an option for county parking downtown?
-  The county owns all the land across the street from the current County-City building - except Tapco Credit union, for which there was once a deal to have a spot for Tapco at ground floor of a proposed consolidation site during Ladenberg’s tenure.
-  Haub, the owner of the property at 13th and Pacific, has been looking for a big tenant for many years so he can kick off his 16-plus story building project there.  The financing scheme for the county consolidation project only allows non-profit owned buildings.  Why not divide the building into condo-like ownership where the county owns floors of the building and Haub owns other floors?  This would be future-proof as the county could buy floors later, as needed.  Maybe retail on the first several floors too…

IMO, the city would be wise to trade an increased jail services price for a downtown county consolidation site.  If built in the downtown core, there would undoubtedly be more peripheral investment (density projects and businesses) by others, larger tax revenues (for decades) for the county and city, and a building that won’t be laughed at in ten years when the average citizen actually understands the principals of urbanism.

Thanks for allowing me to rant.

January 15, 2015 at 8:46 am / Reply / Quote and reply

15 | 2

Exit133Registered

We received a link to the updated traffic study from the County about an hour ago (see above for links), and the comment period has been extended through January 22.

Thanks for the rant.

January 15, 2015 at 12:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 1

Jesse

Thank you.  Looks like the traffic volumes fail the test on 38th near the site. There’s little transit there so practically the entire staff will have to drive to work. As well, side streets are too narrow for even some two-way traffic to pass each other when considering neighbors parking along the side of the streets.

January 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 1

Sid

The entire staff is probably already driving to work.  The site is on Pacific Ave. for crying out loud, a huge avenue, how can there be no room.

January 15, 2015 at 5:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 4

Jesse

I’m not talking about Pacific Avenue.  I’m talking about the two other streets this project borders.  Those streets have entrance/exits too.  And, the whole staff probably is already driving to work but to many locations - not causing traffic issues.  Don’t believe me?  See the county provided study - there’s a link above.

January 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

Sid

I live off of 38th and Pacific and I can tell you there is no intersection downtown that is any better for traffic, if anything worse, because of all the other businesses there.  I know you may find it hard to believe, but many people don’t want to take public transportation to and from work.  There are 4 bus lines that will service this place and two stops will get new shelters and be moved for convenience and safety.  What more do you want, other than to prevent the good people of our neighborhood from finally receiving a nice new project to look at that is actually functional.

January 15, 2015 at 6:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 6

Sid

Are you going to justify to tax payers how much more it will cost to be downtown.  I understand if it were a private entity like REI. These are office buildings, THAT CLOSE AROUND 5 PM.  These people want to go home, not shop, or eat there.  You might get them to eat lunch, maybe, and not all of them.  Do you know how many of them drive, or ride their bikes to work, or even run?  There is plenty of room for these folks to get to work, plenty.  Stop being so dramatic, the sky is not falling.

January 15, 2015 at 5:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 3

Downtown Citizen

Thank you Jim Merrit for bringing this to light! Now if we could only get the citizens of Tacoma AND Pierce County to read this and attend the meeting.  And, Thank you Jesse for your enlightening comments. I wish more people were aware of these facts, and cared what happens in their city.

And to everyone - put some art in the building!

January 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 3

Sid

How come you folks are never as motivated to put this much energy into bettering our neighborhood around S. 38th st., but rather the one time we get something that could bring some light to our district, you try to take away the cookie.  How about petitioning to remove the needle clinic from our neighborhood, or the rap house, or protesting for the city to clean up our district from the filth that gets thrown in the street from some business owners.  Are you folks that selfish that the one time we get a bone thrown our way you try to take it away.  Pretty pathetic thing to do.

January 15, 2015 at 4:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 4

Jesse

If this were a good fit for the neighborhood, I would be excited for it.  Heck, if it were in the heart of the Lincoln District and did things like stayed under five stories and provided parking for local businesses at night, I would be excited for that district.  As it stands, this project is being located at a worst possible location.

January 15, 2015 at 6:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 2

Sid

Jesse, if it was in the heart of the Lincoln District you would complain that there was not enough parking and traffic would be horrible and it is out of context.  I have been deconstructing your argument piece by piece.  If you just want it downtown because you want it downtown just say so, I would respect that.  Don’t try to justify your intentions by giving lame examples as to why it should not be on Pac Ave.  because it failed a traffic test, give us all a break please.

January 15, 2015 at 6:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 4

Jesse

A nine story building with 1300 employees does not belong in any of Tacoma’s business districts, suburbia, or anywhere in between - as this is.  But this project lacks context.  I mean, do YOU want to live nextdoor to a nine story building in a single family home?  Do YOU want to never again have a place to park out in front of your own home?  Do YOU want traffic so bad you can’t get out of your own street?  If anything, the county is disrespecting these neighbors because of the neighborhood’s single family home context.
Basically, if the county is going to spend $90m on something, they had better get the most for their (see also; my) money.  That is most possible downtown.

January 15, 2015 at 6:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 1

Matt

There is a 14 story high rise condominium at 3201 Pacific Ave. This location is also reasonably close to downtown. One might simply describe this construction as expansionary growth of downtown Tacoma.

January 15, 2015 at 8:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

8 | 0

Lincoln District

This completely. This would be a huge benefit to the neighborhood around 38h st and pacific. The Lincoln District deserves this. These jobs have been an anchor to the neighborhood. I agree work to close the Rap House, a felon colony across the street from a High-school in the middle of a neighborhood.

January 17, 2015 at 12:21 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 1

Jim

Jesse, Well put together thoughts and I agree with everything you had to say.
For years, no change that to decades, we heard, we need to make the downtown active
and alive drawing people to live in the downtown core. Now this is beginning to happen
and county commissioners want to move 1.300 people out of the area thwart that movement
plus kill off the small business people life line that work in the area. Do they have a clue how it
will impact even occasional businesses like the farmers market. Saving money is great, but
the big picture here, is what is most important for the good of Tacoma. 

January 15, 2015 at 4:43 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

7 | 5

Dan

Let’s see…Downtown has City Hall, the County Criminal Justice Center, the Federal Courthouse, the UW campus, SOTA, the Convention Center, the Tacoma Dome, the Broadway Performing Arts Center, 6 significant museums, and I’m probably forgetting a few other public institutions. On top of that significant investments are occurring in public infrastructure: Prairie Line trail, Pac. Ave. Streetscape,  the new Amtrak station, and eventually the Tacoma Link extension.

If Downtown can’t survive on that kind of public investment, I don’t know that anything can help it. The East Side neighborhood on the other hand has none of those, but it also has a huge derelict County owned building that would be completely impractical for private redevelopment at current market prices. At the same time, about half of the employees would be relocating from the Mall area to just a mile or two south of downtown.

I think this is a win for the East Side. I think Downtown will survive. And, think the Mall area will remain as congested and unpleasant as ever.

January 15, 2015 at 11:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

8 | 1

Paolo

Pierce County ideally should locate its new administration complex in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood for convenience to mass-transportation.  As a city councilman in Tacoma, Kevin Phelps, now a top aide to the county executive, advocated development of office buildings for market-use on parking lots surrounding the Tacoma Dome—and secured preliminary design proposals from a Seattle-based developer who liked the vision.  The current county office project proposed for S 36th and Pacific Avenue easily came together because the county already owned the site.  In contrast, if the county were able to negotiate a plan to build its adminstrative complex in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood, there certainly would be an opportunity for the county to help city government later turn the S. 36th and Pacific site into a vibrant neighborhood center that is driven not so much by government subsidies but by market forces.  Perhaps even the historic Puget Sound Hospital building with its beautiful green lawn along Pacific Avenue could still be converted into affordable housing, such a preservation example is Tacoma General’s masonry-clad Jackson Hall that once housed the hospital’s nursing school.  It remains a civic disgrace that 56 years ago wrecking balls destroyed the historic Pierce County Courthouse (built just east of the Tacoma Armory) modeled on the template of the great Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh that yet stands.  The county must get this current project right for the Tacoma community; a good design for the proposed S. 36th and Pacific project offsets the visual blight of the current county annex.  Yet in general what makes the Tacoma Dome area worthy of consideration for a county government campus is, again, its connections to rail transit lines leading to Lakewood and Puyallup/Sumner, which means many employees could also easily avoid taking their cars to work.  Meanwhile, the county plays an important role in bringing people close to downtown Tacoma to promote economic vitality there—that one hopes skyscrapers, as they now sprout regularly in Seattle, might be built there to generate new local taxes and create private sector jobs.  Plans for a county campus at S. 13th and Commerce were quashed about twenty years ago but county government working with city governement now to review a Tacoma Dome-area county campus project would be a reasonable due-diligence step to take prior to the county council committing to the S. 36th St. and Pacific county campus project, as proposed.  In crowded downtown Seattle, King County developed a new office building (the Chinook Building) a few years ago to augment the older King County Administration Building adjacent to the century-old King County Courthouse.  It seems transit access (the Metro bus/light rail tunnel) must have been a deciding factor regarding the Chinook Building’s construction.  Transit access should be a key factor in locating any government administration building.

January 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

7 | 0

Elizabeth Burris

The Dome District is an excellent idea!
One of the reasons I am not supporting this present project is lack of citizen input. The county seems to think they can do whatever they want, especially since they don’t have to pass a bond for this project. We taxpayers are spending 133 million for the link expansion, there are 18 PT buses, 3 ST buses, and 2 IT buses in the urban core. We need to be looking at the future and figuring out the best use of resources. Better outcomes with civic engagement!

January 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 5

Terry

Nobody in Puyallup or Gig Harbor wants to fight Downtown Tacoma traffic or pay for parking to do Public business. The Pacific Ave site is way better for the County. Who cares more about all the small businesses Downtown more than the ones in Lincoln District? Let the East Side have this!

January 15, 2015 at 6:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 8

Marty

“Bring the jobs back!!”

That’s what an entrepreneur in the Lincoln District said. What does the proposed Pierce County General Services project mean to the Lincoln Neighborhood? A lot.

Let’s look at the recent history in and around the site. Puget Sound Hospital employed 500 people before the County took it over. Community Connections employed another 150 in the area before Pierce County relocated it. Northwest Kinetics accounted for 100 jobs lost when it closed. More jobs were lost in the nearby Lincoln and McKinley business districts as the effects of disinvestment in neighborhood districts took root.

That’s 750 direct jobs and many more indirect employees.

The return of 1100 jobs (about 200 are already on site at the Health Department) would trigger an upward spiral of recovery. However, the loss of another 200 jobs from the relocation of the Health Department would have leave a stretch of unusable structures that would continue to be a drain on the economics and the services of the area. These are not buildings like the Columbia Bank Building, the Rust building or Merritt building that could easily find another tenant, these are damaged buildings that are the frequent target of vandals and require a steady pull on police and fire resources. This would truly be a catalytic development if located here.

I join the businesses and neighbors in saying “Bring The Jobs Back to Lincoln!”

January 15, 2015 at 6:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

12 | 2

Jesse

Then let’s see an economic impact study comparing the proposed location with one in the downtown core.  Let’s truly get the best results, financially, out of this $90m investment.  If you’re Marty Campbell, the City Council person, I would suspect you would WANT this proposed study if you actually believe what you just typed.

January 15, 2015 at 7:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 2

Terry

That economic impact study wouldn’t be worth the paper it was printed on. It would just be a ruse for the downtown power boys to buy time so they could gather the needed political firepower to take this away from the East Side. The Country tax payers don’t need to pay $$$$ for some sham study that covers up a political power play.

January 16, 2015 at 4:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 0

Jesse

I hope you don’t assume I have some sort of political agenda here.  I am indeed a County resident but I live on Fox Island.  I am an ex-Tacoman.  I do much of my daily business in Tacoma and want to see the best for her.  Tacoma creates my business and a healthy Tacoma makes me more money.
What I think the Lincoln District needs (and I’ve advocated for) is:

1. A LID - It’s happening!
2. Streetcar should have gone down Tacoma Avenue in downtown so it could have easily crossed the freeway to Lincoln.  I advocated for a cable-car, owned by the city, to service MLK to the Foss instead.
3. The ability for the city planners to package land to developers.  Getting big enough lots to build 5 story mixed use projects that pencil-out for developers.
4. A B&O free enterprise zone within the business district proper.
5. A surface level parking tax for lots that reside around big box stores and the mall to guide new businesses to give the classic business districts a second look.
6. A parking garage between Lincoln High School and the business zone to couple with streetcar expansion to Lincoln.
7. Sales tax free zones at depressed business districts - both for remodeling and a phase out period for retail once density numbers increase to sustainable levels.

Those are all things you might have seen me advocate for Lincoln.  Lincoln does not need to have nine story buildings towering over it’s single family houses.  It does not need newly created business districts created right outside of the old one that take it’s business.

January 16, 2015 at 8:37 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

Terry

Thanks Jesse, It’s nice to hear you have both vision and goodwill for the East Side. My problem is that you listed a whole bunch of nice stuff for the Lincoln District, that the City will do almost none of. There will never be enough money for the East Side, except for low income housing or half-way houses or other vile stuff no other neighborhood wants. Pierce County, God Bless ‘em, is trying to do the right thing here and share the wealth. Please have a chance of heart and support this.

January 16, 2015 at 6:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 1

Lincoln District

“Bring the jobs back!!”

That’s what an entrepreneur in the Lincoln District said. What does the proposed Pierce County General Services project mean to the Lincoln Neighborhood? A lot.

Let’s look at the recent history in and around the site. Puget Sound Hospital employed 500 people before the County took it over. Community Connections employed another 150 in the area before Pierce County relocated it. Northwest Kinetics accounted for 100 jobs lost when it closed. More jobs were lost in the nearby Lincoln and McKinley business districts as the effects of disinvestment in neighborhood districts took root.

That’s 750 direct jobs and many more indirect employees.

The return of 1100 jobs (about 200 are already on site at the Health Department) would trigger an upward spiral of recovery. However, the loss of another 200 jobs from the relocation of the Health Department would have leave a stretch of unusable structures that would continue to be a drain on the economics and the services of the area. These are not buildings like the Columbia Bank Building, the Rust building or Merritt building that could easily find another tenant, these are damaged buildings that are the frequent target of vandals and require a steady pull on police and fire resources. This would truly be a catalytic development if located here.

I join the businesses and neighbors in saying “Bring The Jobs Back to Lincoln!”

Lincoln District

This completely. This would be a huge benefit to the neighborhood around 38h st and pacific. The Lincoln District deserves this. These jobs have been an anchor to the neighborhood. I agree work to close the Rap House, a felon colony across the street from a High-school in the middle of a neighborhood.

January 17, 2015 at 12:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 0

larry zarelli

The most logical spot downtown for this building is at 6th ave. At St. Helens/Broadway…where the light rail extention will pass thru. A ten or twelve story building would fit right in where people live and work, away from the city center…but adding a new building to our skyline and close to city hall.  A parking garage could also be built there.  Close by are all the restaurants and Ruston Way features.

January 15, 2015 at 6:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 8

Marty

Transit access has been underestimated at the Lincoln Neighborhood Location. 4 routes serve the location and connect it to over half dozen Transit Centers and Park & Rides

Transit access has been underestimated for the Lincoln Neighborhood Location. Four routes currently serve the location and connect it to over half dozen Transit Centers and Park & Rides.

In addition this would bring the needed ridership to usher in a BRT line along the number 1. (Read as BIG WIN)

From the traffic study:
“A variety of bus options are available within the project study area. Pierce Transit operates four routes within a 1‐mile radius of the project site. These include routes 1, 48, 53 and 54. There are two bus stops located adjacent to the project site, located at the Pacific Avenue & S Division Lane, and at Pacific Avenue & S 36th Street intersections. These stops service route 1 and route 53 buslines which operate along Pacific Avenue. Route 48 primarily operates north‐ south along S G Street and route 54 primarily operates east‐west along S 38th Street. These buses provide service to and from a variety of locations within Tacoma. “

Being located on the South End plateau, the terrain is exceptionally flat allowing for excellent pedestrian and bike access. This is why the planners have included 80+ bicycle stall, cages and showers. In addition the County is exploring the idea of bike rental stations.

Currently the county has about 5% workforce CTR. Understandable, given that employees are scattered in a dozen locations( hard for carpool and vanpool) and many of those locations are difficult to access from transit or by bicycle/ped access.

With the access and opportunities presented in the Lincoln neighborhood, CTR could easily pass the 20-25% threshold.

January 15, 2015 at 6:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

8 | 2

Jesse

So basically you may create another business district around Pacific and 36th big enough to constitute new transit options?  Great. 
I bet, in the early 1960’s, when the mall was proposed, that elected officials touted it as a great idea because it was in between Lincoln and 56th & STW.  I bet they thought adding new people and stores several blocks away would help Lincoln and STW.  What they really did was create a new more exciting business district close enough to drain the life out of the existing business districts.  Is that what you’re saying will happen?
This is why it is important that this resides Inside a business district or downtown… And a nine story building with 1300 employees doesn’t belong in a business district… So…

January 15, 2015 at 8:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 6

Sid

When can the good people of this forum expect to see you at the health department arguing that a needle exchange does not belong in our neighborhood because it is “out of context,” or that we should enforce more codes?  Better yet, try to find a solution to the garbage and drug addicts that hide in the Tacoma school district land next to Lincoln park.  When was the last time you volunteered your own gas and money to help pick up litter, give a sandwich to a homeless person, guide them to programs and distribute blankets in our district.  I can tell you that I know plenty of people in our neighborhood that have and they are extremely happy this is going up here.  These are the people who’s opinion I value.  I suggest you find yourself a nice spot in the tallest building in downtown Tacoma with great views and WATCH this project be built.  This project will be a beacon of hope in our area.  My father once told me as a child to take a good look in the mirror and then remember that there are people on the other side that matter too.  Sometimes I feel like the proponents of downtown Tacoma have encased downtown with mirrors facing in and continue to lick their eyebrows and straighten out their ties, but don’t realize that there are important districts on the other side of that mirror that deserve a little plucking and tie adjustment too, Lincoln being one of them.

January 16, 2015 at 8:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 3

Jesse

Personal attacks diminish your integrity.

January 16, 2015 at 10:01 am / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 1

Sid

Well, I guess you are not a taker on trying to resolve the REAL pressing “out of context” issues here in our district that TRULY affect us.  I know, it takes a special type to live on this side of town and deal with these things on a daily basis.  Grow some skin, no one personally attacked you, welcome to the Lincoln District.

January 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 5

Lincoln District

Lincoln District

This completely. This would be a huge benefit to the neighborhood around 38h st and pacific. The Lincoln District deserves this. These jobs have been an anchor to the neighborhood. I agree work to close the Rap House, a felon colony across the street from a High-school in the middle of a neighborhood.

Keep up the good fight Sid.

January 17, 2015 at 12:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 1

Susan R

I completely support the new building location at 36th and Pacific! Go Lincoln district! We need some of the economic development dollars to be directed to the south end, not just downtown and the north side. Lincoln is not bad for working and living. There’s some great eateries around and I suspect this could bring more. Of note, it’s a great place to ride your bike….only two miles (ish) from downtown. And the transit runs pretty regularly, if that’s the option you’d like to take.

January 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

12 | 2

Terry

Good point Susan! In reality 3600 Pacific is downtown. But it’s on the wrong side of downtown politically. If the site was just North of downtown, why, all the powers that be would love, love love it! It aint easy for the East Side.

January 16, 2015 at 4:38 am / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 2

thackerspeedRegistered

According to modern Systems Theory, in order to build a proper bureaucracy, one must first refer to a proper bus schedule for guidance.

January 16, 2015 at 8:14 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 0

Xeno

My biggest problem with this locaiton is that it would most likely not be able to tie into any future vision of the LINK, unless it went down 38th somehow.  A spur project for the brewery/dome district like this would be nice and probably have better access.

January 16, 2015 at 9:48 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

talus

Setting aside the location debate for a minute, can we all agree the current design for the remodel is super ugly?  Any chance it could be redone to look less Death Star-like?

January 17, 2015 at 8:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 1

Terry

OK, let me ask you this, talus. Do you work in building that is better or prettier than this? This is a Country project and it has to be functional and it has to be cheap. There are special interest groups currently failing the County Council and Social Media to make this project into something prettier, something Downtown, something more transit friendly, something that saves historic Tacoma buildings, something not on the East Side, ect….  Why can’t it just be what it is? The County Office building?

January 17, 2015 at 12:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 2

talus

Limited budgets don’t necessitate ugliness.  They should lighten up the design and make the building less fortress-like.

January 18, 2015 at 10:44 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

thackerspeedRegistered

Aesthetically speaking, the stature of the building blends naturally into the landscape of Pierce Transit Routes 28, 41, and 57. But nothing was left to chance. It was all calculated to please the eye; and if the building was placed along Pierce Transit Routes 11, or 16, then no amount of creative adaptation would ever soothe the refined sensibilities of the neighboring cultural elite.

January 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 1

Jesse

Now hearing $100m estimate instead of $90m.  Not considering street re-do’s (roads, traffic, sewer, storm water, multi-modal impacts) because of failed traffic study, increased operations costs (a mid-rise tower is more expensive than low-rise), or needed shuttle service ($500k per year?) this project would require because it’s too far away from other County offices.  Also cost not considering Pierce County Hospital land value to a developer.
Just an FYI.  :)

January 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 6

thackerspeedRegistered

When that condemned stretch of Pacific Avenue receives the wrecking ball, the only tears shed will be tears of joy.

January 22, 2015 at 12:03 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

Sid

Town hall reveals support for county administration building project in East Tacoma

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/01/22/3602250_town-hall-reveals-support-for.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

January 23, 2015 at 7:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 1

Jake

It is totally silly for this building to not be downtown or in the dome district.  This is a huge mistake to put this anywhere else.  If this is near transit line, people will use transit to get there.  If it is near downtown, it continually invests in the revitalization of downtown.  In addition, downtown has a plethora of land (parking lots) that should be developed.  Put it in the Dome district is a great idea.

January 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 1

Sid

It is totally silly for this building to not be in the Lincoln District.  This is a huge mistake to put this anywhere else.  This is near transit line, people will use transit to get there.  If it is near downtown, it continually will not invest in the revitalization of the Lincoln District.  In addition, the Lincoln District has a plethora of land (parking lots) that should be developed.  Put it in the Lincoln District is a great idea.

January 23, 2015 at 10:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jesse

I went to the merting on the 22nd and came away feeling sorry for not only the people of the Lincoln District but also for the legacy of Pat McCarthy.
Imaging for a moment if the Pierce County building, circa 1890’s, would have been built in the Proctor District.  What would people of thought of that decision 20-75 years later?  We’d think those decision makers were crazy, right?  Here’s your legacy, Pat.  You should have tried harder.

January 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Terry

Ah, don’t bother feeling sorry for the people of the Lincoln District. I like our chances of winning this one. And just how far do you think 3600 Pacific is from UWT? Puget Sound Hospital isn’t too far away from Downtown…. it’s just on the wrong side of Downtown. It’s not easy being the East Side.

January 24, 2015 at 5:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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thackerspeedRegistered

“...if the Pierce County building, circa 1890’s, would have been built in the Proctor District.”—-Jesse

The Proctor District, for all its posturing, has never been anything more than a way station for Ruston bound travelers.

In contrast, Pacific Avenue, south of downtown Tacoma, has served the greater Tacoma area for over one-hundred years as a primary state highway—-State Route 7 was built to effectively and efficiently serve city and county travelers.

January 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jesse

You absolutely missed my point.

January 26, 2015 at 7:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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thackerspeedRegistered

Jesse, your personal preference and intuition about what should built and where, is just that—-your personal preference. Every individual is concerned about his own economic future—-and many ambitious politicians have built their careers on promises of a future utopia.

All roads lead out of Tacoma for a reason. Call it economic justice. The pressures of daily life in a highly regulated, densely populated, blind leading the blind cultural pinpoint on the map of Earth is something to run from.

January 26, 2015 at 11:41 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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