Exit133 is about Tacoma
Imagine Tacoma – Foss Field (of Dreams?)
With the recent news that the Foss Waterway Authority has granted another extension to the Hotel/Hotel with Condominiums/Hotel with less Condominiums Project located between Thea’s Landing and The Esplanade (and considering the ongoing work to ‘programme’ left-over urban space (sic) within the downtown core), Imagine Tacoma considers a opportunistic temporary use of the long fallow property along the City Waterway:
A Grass Field
With some minor fill and grading of the site (and a couple of yard drains for good measure), a shallow slope can be achieved up to the developed perimeter of the site – and presto, a multipurpose outdoor amphitheatre (for the local politico – envision a scaled down Chicago’s Millennium Park or Malmo’s Folkets). Maybe add a couple of sand volleyball pits at the lower level for good measure (and just think of the bocce potential!). I am sure funding could be found for this modification – maybe as sustainable mitigation credits to off-set the current heatsink of Tollefson Plaza?
With all of the negotiation with BNSF on the Prairie Line and Sounder Extension, get them to throw in a couple of flatbed railcars for a stage located along the existing south wall of the site.
Improve Connections to the Waterway
With the above improvements, Downtown Tacoma now has a multi-function open space that has wonderful views of Mt. Rainier, the Foss Waterway, Union Station, Main BSNF Railway (can be part of the experience just like Safeco – only safer), and the Murray Morgan Bridge. As even the temporary use of the property would force improvements of the connections of the Foss Waterway into Downtown: Set the Chihuly Bridge Free, Ride the Bridge, Thea Foss Connections II, Prairie TAM Companion and Tall Ship Connections.
So instead of letting development sites sit fallow in hopes of a gallant developer coming to the rescue (and given them extension after extension), how about encouraging temporary permitted uses of such public lands? Who knows, it might foster local initiative successes – and allow for ‘new’ entities to succeed prior to large amount of investment dollars spent validating their conception.
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