Looking Forward to Development in 2015

With the last City Council meeting of 2014 in the rear view mirror, and news in both the private and public sectors winding down for the year as well, we've begun to look ahead to 2015, and what issues we might be writing about in the coming year.

As we look into our crystal ball, we see a list of projects, both private and public, breaking ground, seeking funding, going up for sale, or otherwise taking steps forward in 2015.

  • Yareton hotel deal - The initial due diligence period wraps up in April. If all goes well, the City and Yareton enter into due diligenence part two - an 18-month period during which the developer developer will complete work on design, entitlements, and permits; and secure equity and debt financing. That takes us well into October 2016, so while no ground will be broken, according to the timeline, we should see some movement, and likely the second transfer of earnest money from Yareton to the City. - 
  • Prairie Line Trail - The City is due to break ground on its section of the Prairie Line Trail that connects UWT and the Foss Waterway any day now, with completion expected in 2015.
  • Hilltop development - Work should get under way for the Kellogg-Sicker and Pochert project and Tacoma Housing Authority is looking for funding to begin its own work on the adjacent lots. 
  • Lincoln District Development - There's $300,000 set aside for streetscape improvements in the Lincoln Business District in the 2015-2016 biennium. And nearby at 35th and Pacific is a piece of City-owned property the City plans to release an RFP for in the coming months. 
  • 17th Street realignment - UWT will be breaking ground soon to straighten out South 17th Street where it runs up the hill from Pacific. That project should wrap up by the end of 2015.
  • Point Ruston theater and restaurants - Construction is well underway on the building that will house the new movie theater at Point Ruston, scheduled for completion next summer. WildFin and Mio Sushi also have expected openings at Point Ruston in 2015, which should really start to bring some life to Tacoma's newest neighborhood.
  • Tacoma Amtrak station - After much design discussion and public process, plans for the new station are starting to look like they might move forward. There are still a few more hurdles for the design phase, but if everything sails through, it's possible that WSDOT could break ground on the new Amtrak station at Freighthouse Square as early as late 2015. You might not want to hold your breath on that one, though. The Point Defiance bypass project won't be completed for a couple more years anyway, meaning Amtrak trains will continue to run through the old station until that project is complete.
  • The Henry & Proctor Station - These two mixed use projects - one down on the Foss Waterway, the other in the middle of the Proctor District, are moving ahead a a pretty good clip, with workers pouring slabs, and new floors going up weekly, it seems. The Proctor Station website says apartments and retail are coming winter 2015. Last we heard, work on The Henry was expected to wrap up fall 2015.

Then there's our wish list - all our hopes and dreams for development in Tacoma in 2015. There may not be any sign of movement, but that doesn't keep us from dreaming...

  • McMenamins Elks project - McMenamins isn't giving up on plans to renovate Tacoma's Elks Lodge, and we're not giving up on them.
  • Old City Hall - Things have been very quiet on this front, but slavation for Old City Hall stays perpetually on our list of things we'd like Santa to bring us.
  • Brewery District development - The City hasn't gotten any feasible bites on its offer of three City-owned properties, but with the development happening elsewhere in downtown and the Dome District, we're keeping our fingers firmly crossed.
  • 21st and Jefferson development - As with the Brewery District properties, the City hasn't gotten any offers that are to its liking for this giant piece of property. It's almost like there's just too much potential.
  • Tollefson Plaza improvements - After years as the butt of jokes from both armchair and real urban planners, for the first time we've seen sketches of a possible greener, more activated Tollefson Plaza. Grass, trees, a cafe, and food truck parking? It seems almost too good to be true, but this might be the item on our wish list closest to becoming a reality...

What project are you most looking forward to? What's on your wish list?

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Tim Smith

Today is the last day to get your bids in for the new 10 year $6.8 million + possible value contract with the Department of Homeland Security for running the Northwest Detention Center.
The Tacoma contract brings in big bucks for the current operator, primarily because of the lack of any local or state requirements for cost recovery, reimbursables, or compliance oversight.

December 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Tim Smith

...10 year $6.8 million + possible value contract ...the Northwest Detention Center.
The Tacoma contract brings in big bucks…

Sorry, I forgot to see the decimal point and therefore got the total potential value of the contract wrong.

The contract annual value works out to be $68,040,000
                                            x 10 years equals $680,400,000.

Not bad for a prison.

December 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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