McMenamins Finishing Bothell Project, Tacoma’s Elks is Up Next…

Lately it seems that any news has been good news when it comes to the Tacoma McMenamins Elks Temple.

Well, this certainly falls into that category: If what we're reading in The News Tribune this morning is true, you could see ground-breaking on the project within a year - possibly as early as next March. That Bothell Anderson School renovation that took priority on the McMenamins to-do list is nearly done, which makes Tacoma's Elks building next, pending funding

The McMenamins seem optimistic on the question of funding, feeling that investors will like what they've done with the money they put into the Bothell project. The Anderson School was the McMenamins first foray into working with outside funders. It sounds like a success, with enough money raised, and a "great group of interested investors," who, according to the TNT, might be interested in the Tacoma project as well.

If all the pieces fall into place the way the McMenamins hope they will, a renovated Elks Temple could be open and serving by spring 2017. That's a long time to hold our breath...

Previously on Exit133: A Quick McMenamins Update. Also, read all of our McMenamins Elks Lodge coverage here.

UPDATE: Also in fun, McMenamins in Tacoma-related news this week...If you visit the McMenamins Pubs Facebook page right now, the cover photo you'll see features a flock (is that the right word?) of goats in front of a familiar looking building. The goats are from Rent-a-Ruminant, and they're featured in a YouTube video explaining how they help with weed control on the slopes next to the historic building.

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Fingers crossed!

Since the new County building on Pacific and 35th is probably going to die via ballot, they’ll need a new populist approach.  Maybe doing Old City Hall and building a new building across Commerce street would be the ticket.  What a shot in the arm that’d be!  Actual real walkability and transit options… Imagine that!  (I can dream, right?)

Anywho… this is great news!  I’ll leave you with a video of some more awesomeness from the Elks site:

April 23, 2015 at 10:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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McMenamin’s vision for the old Elks Temple is likely the basis for the Stratford Company’s decision to keep Old City Hall in mothballs for better uses (unfortunately evidence of moth infestation comes with crumbling masonry on the buiilding).  Just as investors in the renovation of McMenamin’s Anderson School in Bothell will not have an actual ownership in the McMenamin’s business, Stratford Company might consider a partnership lease with Tacoma booster/developer Erivan Haub’s Sun Mountain Lodge for his firm to run an upscale boutique hotel inside Stratford’s Old City Hall with the quality and taste of the Mr. Haub’s Sun Mountain Lodge at Winthrop.  Spokane developer Walt Worthy, who restored the grand old Davenport Hotel there with cash to spend after selling many Spokane office properties leased to the State of Washington to bankrupt Prium Homes of Tacoma, now also runs Hotel Lusso, a nearby lodging establishment in an old downtown Spokane building with a Mediterranean theme (like Old City Hall, Tacoma).  The renewed historic Montvale Hotel in downtown Spokane is another model of restoration excellence.  Perhaps Mr. Haub could partner with Tacoma city government and owners of vacant lots south of the Spanish Steps where the city cleared old buildings forty years ago to create surface parking spaces for the soon-to-fail Old City Hall vertical mall to create new garage parking and other commercial tax-generating structures. Tacoma’s hotel market definitely lacks such a facility in an historic structure, a pity especially when such a business had been proposed for the now-demolished Luzon Building along the lines of what is now the El Gaucho Inn in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.  Stratford and McMenamin’s could both learn from the hospitality expertise of the Haub family and their fabulous Sun Mountain Lodge at Winthrop.  Mr. Haub’s interests in Tacoma should not be taken for granted—he certainly wants to profit from his economic risks.  The business troubles of the past thirty years at the Sheraton Tacoma Hotel/Hotel Murano remain a cautionary tale.  Tacoma native Eddie Carlson, who built Westin into a huge hotel chain from a base in Seattle, shuttered the firm’s Winthrop Hotel to overnight guests in 1969 and seemed wistful that investors led by then-Weyerhaeuser Company Chairman George Weyerhaeuser, Sr.  in the early 1980s could make the Sheraton a financial and civic success.  Yet much has changed in Tacoma in thirty years with a new convention center, light rail, and a downtown university campus—plus fabulous museums.  Old City Hall stands ghostly as a fabulous field of dreams.  Watch for action there when development for McMenamin’s Tacoma Elks finally takes wings.

April 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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“Just as investors in the renovation of McMenamin’s Anderson School in Bothell will not have an actual ownership in the McMenamin’s business…”

These two mountebanks have gotten rich the old fashioned way, by bilking others into capitalizing their business enterprises.  Personally I could not care any less what causes people want to donate their own money to… if it only ended there,  but whenever McMenamins show up on the scene it is the taxpayers who frequently end up holding the short end of the stick though.

Of course the historical sources of venture funding are not around to capitalize a shtick that is as long in the tooth as the “brew pub” as entertainment destination has become by 2015.

April 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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June 1, 2018 at 10:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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