Exit133 is about Tacoma
Imagine Tacoma – Paper or Plastic?
It seems that Downtown Tacoma inhabitants (permanent and temporary) continue to clamor for a grocery store to be located in the ‘center’ of the core. Even though a recent UWT article on Walkability notes that there are two grocery stores within one mile of the center of their campus, where would such a new market be apt to locate?
Not in the Downtown Core:
Grocery stores have two basic functional requirements: a large floor plate and a convenient access for large semi-tractor trailer deliveries. These requirements alone remove most of the downtown core for consideration due to narrow lots, topography elevation change, bLINK light-rail disrupting traffic flow, and congested freeway access maneuverability.
But imagine a large grocery store of your persuasion (e.g. MMM, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s) locating within the Dome District:
Maybe between Puyallup Avenue and South 25th along East C Street. This would allow for a large floor plate on a site that could incorporate delivery vehicles within the change in grade. Such a location would be midway between two bLINK Rail Stops and could have an upper floor with a view looking right down the Thea Foss Waterway (and go ahead and imagine it as a mixed-use structure with residential units above).
With the Sounder Rail Extension requiring a rise in elevation where the ground actually is falling away, why not also imagine a large parking garage that has a train running through the middle of it. Such a garage could have access direct from the Tacoma Dome Exit from I-5 and convenient egress out ‘A’ Street. And what a better place to put a parking garage then either side of a railway and underneath a freeway (i.e. put ‘em all in one bucket).
Why not a duct? Instead of a large earthen dam built through the Dome District, how about a viaduct structure (a 21st century design as a counter-part to the 19th century wood trestle East of ‘G’). This would allow for development to happen close to each side of the rail line and provide access through from one side of the district to the other (think more comb and less ‘damn’).
So as you head home for evening, why not get off at the bLINK at the A Street Stop and pick-up some groceries before you head out into the night via your transportation of choice?
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