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On The Market: Tacoma’s Premier Development Site
The biggest block of City-owned property in downtown is finally on the market.
Today the City of Tacoma released a Request For Proposals for the 7-ish acre/block site that has been sitting vacant for more than a decade. When the City inventoried its properties last year, this site came up as a “Tier 1” property - among those with the highest development value for the City.
The RFP calls the land “Tacoma’s Premiere Development Site.”
TACOMA’S PREMIER DOWNTOWN RESIDENTIAL OR OFFICE CAMPUS SITE…SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF MT. RAINIER AND PUGET SOUND…WITHIN A 5-MINUTE WALK TO THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON TACOMA, THE MUSEUM DISTRICT AND THE FRANCISCAN HEALTH SYSTEM…WITHIN SEVERAL BLOCKS OF STATE FARM MUTUAL INSURANCE’S NEW REGIONAL CLAIMS CENTER (2,000+ NEW EMPLOYEES IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT)… TACOMA IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY!
One of these days we might actually be nostalgic
about all this open space.
The City is in the process of getting out of the property-owning game, and getting its properties back on the tax rolls. The recent announcement that State Farm would be moving offices to Tacoma seems to have been the confidence boost the City needed to offer this gem of a property - the coming of State Farm plays a prominent role in the argument for investing in downtown Tacoma now.
The RFP insists on a price at or above Fair Market Value; bids below that will not be considered. Unlike some of the library buildings we’ve seen come up for sale recently, there is no credit awarded for community-orieted uses - the developer will be selected based on offer price, developer experience and capacity, and the development proposed. This last will need to be consistent with the vision for this area as outlined in the Draft South Downtown Subarea Plan.
The City originally acquired the property, cobbled together out of 34 separate properties, to build Tacoma police headquarters. That plan didn’t happen, but the City was left with a pretty large chunk of downtown property investment. Proposals can be made for either one or both of the parcels, which fall within Warehouse/Residential zoning. The RFP states that the property should be developed for market rate high density residential, mixed use, or office campus.
Developers have two months to submit bids, and the City could be entering into contract negotiations by October 1 of this year.
The City is looking for “High quality projects that contribute to the area’s vitality.” So, what would you want to see on such a large block of downtown property?
Spotted on the TNT.
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