Pierce County General Services Building: Growing Plans

Pierce County is asking for public comment on traffic mitigation for its proposed centralized General Services Building.

The Pierce County Department of Planning and Land Services has finished reviewing the environmental checklist (SEPA) and traffic study and issued a "Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance" on Jan. 26. The Determination lists the various ways the project must mitigate traffic and parking issues, including increased parking, signalization, improved lighting, signage, pedestrian crossings and increased handicap and bicycle parking.

The building at South 35th and Pacific is now planned to be nine stories and 334,000 square feet to accomodate 1,200 County workers from more than a dozen departments, including the Pierce County Health Department. The letter outlines plans to mitigate the traffic impacts of bringing all those employees under one roof. 

  • 1,100 parking spaces (spread over two surface lots and a two-level parking garage)
  • At least 21 handicap parking spaces
  • 75 long-term bike parking spaces for employee use
  • 8 short-term bike parking spaces for public use
  • 10 to 20 motorcycle spaces
  • Updates to the County's Commute Trip Reduction program
  • The developer will relocate the bus stops at Pacific and Division Lane and provide shelters at those stops
  • A bond provided to the City of Tacoma to address future parking and traffic calming measures "to include but not be limited to residential parking signage, a neighborhood parking program, speed bumps, or residential intersection improvements"
  • Improvements to the existing mid-block crosswalk at south Division Lane and Pacific Avenue
  • No access from the project site to South D Street
  • The developer will install a traffic signal on Pacific
  • Pedestrian crossing safety improvements will be made along Pacific and signage on SR-7 off-ramps notifying drivers that they are approaching pedestrian crossings
  • The developer will post signage restricting parking to local residents only on the west side of D Street, south side of 37th, and north side of Division Lane
  • An interpretive display to acknowledge the design of the Puget Sound Hospital 

Read the full letter here. The public is invited to submit comments on this determination. The deadline to comment is February 9, 2015. Find addressess and links to comment on the County's project page. The County Council is scheduled to vote on the project on February 17.

Visit the County project page for more details of plans for the new building, and take a look at the County's answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, including this one:

So you’re not leaving downtown?

We expect to fully occupy the county’s owned buildings on the downtown campus with approximately 1,000 employees. Put another way, we would consolidate operations into two campuses – the existing one downtown and the new campus just up the hill from the Tacoma Dome.

So, does this answer some questions for you?

Previously from Exit133: Plans for New Pierce County Admin Building and Group Challenges Planned Pierce County Administration Building Location.


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Comments

JesseRegistered

As the costs rise for this project, it is becoming more apparent why mid-rise office towers rarely abut neighborhoods with single-family housing.  A few points for this project include:

A. The proposed eleven hundred parking spots are absolutely needed.  One parking spot for each employee is necessary because you have to make sure nobody parks in the nearby neighborhood.
B.    The cited $46m price tag for a parking garage, if built downtown, is a total cost.  It is not “Delta” cost, or, the cost difference between the 36th and Pacific site and a downtown site.  So, the cost to build downtown is not $46m MORE, it’s $46m minus costs at the proposed location.
C. The fact that this is a “Campus” means future expansion.  That expansion means that the current on-site surface level parking will be displaced and even more parking will be necessary to keep future employees from parking in the neighborhood.  They will later have to build parking for their current AND additional buildings at that time.
D. Eventual expansion and the displaced parking it will cause will leave the County with two options; level nearby houses for surface level parking or build a parking garage at that point in time.
1. Bulldozing housing to create surface level parking will further hurt the neighborhood’s walkability and density – which, with a supposed 127,000 people estimated to be coming to Tacoma over the next few decades, is not an option.  We have learned, by Urban Renewal practices of the 50’s and 60’s, that surface level parking is harmful to a City.
2. Building a parking garage big enough to house all employees on-site is more expensive and cost prohibitive.
3. A shuttle bus is costly over several decades of use and therefore cost prohibitive.  If you charge employees for it, they will just park in the neighborhood streets.

My final thought about parking is that the County is not saving any money by not building this project downtown.  The reason given for not choosing downtown was that it would cost $46 million for parking - but they are now building a garage anyways.  There is an expensive garage in the County’s future if they choose to locate at 36th and Pacific.

If the project were downtown, the County could significantly cut the number of parking spaces because; there are much better transit options, nearby housing options for employees that are compact enough to create walkability to work, and the marketplace would help create enough parking for overflow employees instead of the County being forced to create them.

Besides, who ever said parking was an employee right anyways?  Most employees in cities, in the private sector, park in a paid parking lot.

The County is leaving a lot of money on the table by not locating downtown when all things are considered. 

I would think more public input, an economic impact study for a downtown location vs. the proposed location, and more robust conversations with urban development experts is warranted. 

Stop this project so the necessary public and professional input can be heard.

January 28, 2015 at 1:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

13 | 0

ckarnesRegistered

Building 1,100 new “free” parking spaces is insane!  Have we learned nothing from the last 50 years of urban design and planning mistakes in Tacoma?  Parking lots and structures should be avoided in or around the city’s mixed use centers.  They create dead zones devoid of life and activity.  Just take a look at Park Plaza North or the Eric Anderson Memorial Parking Lot.  The sheer amount of parking in this plan is out of proportion and at-odds with the desired walkable land use in the area.

You cannot build a parking space for every current employee (with room to spare) and then expect that any of them will use other modes of transportation.  By encouraging people to take their cars with them to work, what do you think they are going to do for lunch or for errands?  They won’t be walking.

The county is ENTIRELY MISSING THE POINT about the traffic impact.  This not only is an increase in traffic for the area, but it completely biases the transport mode split for the area towards automobiles.  You do not solve that impact by installing traffic signals and moving bus stops.  I don’t see us stopping this project, but it is going to bring about the need to cap parking for developments in the Mixed Use Centers.

January 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

12 | 2

RHTCCComedyfanRegistered

I completely agree with ckarnes here. This is an motor vehicle centric idea basically a proven failure of a unsustainable system from more than 50 or 60 years ago.
It would be like planning to build another ASARCO smelting plant here.
There shoud be a design to have a bus transit main covered stop there and also consideration ( an area left planned for a future trolley system stop center there too).
In addition 8 short term bicycle spaces for the public is absurdly low instead there should be several hundred planned (for the future (healthy for the environment,healthy for the active commuter).We are already past peak oil too so in the future people will have to get from point A to Point B by using more active transportation.That IS the future.Having 1,000’s of parking spaces for cars is rewarding bad polluting,Earth destroying,sedentary unhealthy habits too.They might as well have smoking rooms for the public as the cancinogen poison gases spewing from those motor vehicle tailpipes is unhealthy,
Our city and county must be headed towards better innovative,environmentally and human healthy sustainable transportation ideas.This is a planned environmental boondoggle.The car parking spaces should for now be at least cut in half (down to 500 stalls at a unfortuate best) to eventually phase most of them out for the future.

January 29, 2015 at 1:37 am / Reply / Quote and reply

7 | 1

Terry

Hi! You might not know this, but I’m a big time cyclist and walker. I understand where you are coming fro
m, but there is a whole lot more to this than parking spaces. Let’s meet downtown and walk or ride to the site in person. You need to hear from a real live East Side guy about this. It’s about Social Justice and Redlining as much as any other issue. No more endless squabbles online. With Big East Side Love! (((****tacomee0@yahoo.com*******(((

February 1, 2015 at 8:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 1

Terry

I’m sitting in a house that was built in 1926 a few blocks away from the old Puget Sound Hospital, also built in 1926. The County has always had hundreds of jobs at the site. In the 1950’s, the Hospital might have had as many as 1000 employees. Currently the County is doing the right thing, and restoring those jobs to the Lincoln District. The health of the local neighborhood has always depended on these jobs.

2 quick points here….. 1. I know of only 3 local residents who oppose the project and one of them is a business leader in Downtown/Hilltop. There is massive local support for the project. 2. Don’t be a jerk and say County employees can’t drive to work. I’m a cyclist and transit guy and I’d like to see change, but cutting parking spaces isn’t reasonable. Americans hate social engineering even more than they love their cars. Be nice. Show the Lincoln District some love.

January 29, 2015 at 4:34 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 4

Jesse

Remember that the County shuttered this site because they got out of the mental health business.  Also remember that the City of Tacoma had to pick up that responsibility and ultimately raise your sales tax 0.1% to pay for it.  The “right” thing to do would have been to remodel the hospital and not abandon our mentally ill.
Also, there is indeed great support for this project in the Lincoln District.  It’s emotional.  Notice how people always say “we deserve this” project?  Well, you do.  In fact you deserve better and I think this mentality of desperation for the city to actually do something in this area is warranted considering the history.  Just, you should be demanding the right things - the things that fit into your neighborhood like tax breaks, beutification projects, enterprise zones, transit, new mixed use buildings, etc.

January 29, 2015 at 6:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply

7 | 1

Terry

The Lincoln District should be demanding the right things? What do you think they are? I, and most of my Lincoln District neighbors, want the County to do the right thing and build the project and give us back County jobs we used to have for 50 years. We get to want what we want. We don’t take orders from you or Downtown, thank you. It’s OK to want to move this project I guess, I understand that. But these ad hock urban planner jabs at Lincoln should just stop.

January 31, 2015 at 8:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 4

Chris

Again, another point is being missed here.  The problem is that in this plan there is substantial public subsidization in more parking and a defacto mindset that just about everyone will drive.  This is in-effect the “social engineering” that others here are proclaiming that a reduction in parking spaces would produce.  Parking is not free.  It requires acquisition of land, materials for construction, and continued maintenance.

January 29, 2015 at 10:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 0

thackerspeedRegistered

“The problem is that in this plan there is substantial public subsidization in more parking and a defacto mindset that just about everyone will drive…Parking is not free.  It requires acquisition of land, materials for construction, and continued maintenance.”—-Chris

It’s a self-evident fact that Pierce Transit and Sound Transit has built Park-N-Ride surface lots all over Pierce County. Who subsidizes those lots plus the multi-level garages they’ve built?

The bureaucracy and costs of public transit is not a necessary condition for designing a county general services center.

January 30, 2015 at 8:40 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 7

Jim C

OH THE HORROR. That they would build facilities commensurate with demand. You even state yourself, “You cannot build a parking space for every current employee (with room to spare) and then expect that any of them will use other modes of transportation.”

Yes sir, you’d have to give them a reason to and not merely disincentivize car use.  Disincentivization is another way of saying “purposefully reducing peoples’ quality of life in order to try to modify their behavior” (see: TPU’s garbage pickup reduction) and is/was a favored strategy, in its extremes, of totalitarians across the world and throughout history.

I would venture a guess that the people with an actual stake in this project, both County employees and neighbors, greatly appreciate the inclusion of parking in the plans.

January 29, 2015 at 9:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 5

JesseRegistered

Part of the problem with this project is that it comes with little vision or the ability of the County to do amplify it’s investment in the City.  Part of a transit advocates vision is that of helping the lower and middle income individuals keep more money in their pockets by ditching a household car - which is, on average a $700 a month cost, all things considered.

So, let me give an example of a better plan for this consolidation project, if you’d indulge me.

-  OCH:  Use Old City Hall as Executive offices, public meeting rooms, and other high profile uses.
-  Commerce Site:  Purchase the land across from Old City Hall, which sits south of the Elks Temple, to build an annex.  Connect the two buildings underground.  I believe the City currently owns this land.
-  Commerce Site:  If needed, purchase and use the Graffiti Garage.  Demolish it for the annex building’s use.
-  Commerce Site:  Use the money that the County is currently using for a garage to build a similar size garage that rises from underground to the Broadway level.
-  Commerce Site:  At the Broadway level ground floor, build shops to rent out.
-  Park Place North:  Buy Park Place North (giant parking structure at 9th and Pacific) from the City of Tacoma for it’s estimated value of $2m.  There are almost 500 parking spots there and the ability to build on top like they did at Park Place South.  The City has expressed interest in selling this off recently (according to this website) but has not put together an RFP.  Remodel this as needed or add to the top later, as they did at Park Place South.
-  Puget Sound Hospital Site:  Knock out that hospital so the land can be sold to a developer.  They’ve tried to sell that hospital as a hospital and nobody is going to buy that land that way.  That means a private developer would have to pay to knock down the hospital after purchasing it - which makes no housing project pencil-out for a developer, and that’s why it hasn’t yet sold for that purpose.

A pipe dream like this would create all kinds of foot traffic in that area, save Old City Hall, and add storefronts to Broadway.  It’s on the streetcar line so fewer parking spots are needed and employees could live in downtown, Stadium, or Hilltop without owning a car - adding $700 a month to their pockets.  It’s a practical economic stimulus.

Thanks for indulging me.

January 29, 2015 at 11:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply

7 | 1

Leslie

Jesse, I really think that some of your ideas above are interesting, and some of them are actually quite compelling, but plain and simple, they completely ignore the needs and desires of the Lincoln area, for growth and investment.  We over here are tired of being ignored, and are happy to see that someone is starting to care about our area.  Investment here is long overdue and much more needed than downtown, which has seen a LOT of public investment already and in my opinion, needs more PRIVATE investment - business and not nonprofit or government.

To even begin to consider such a downtown site would cost a lot more money and would delay this project further.  I do not support either of those ideas, as they will a) cost taxpayers more money, b) continue to spend taxpayer monies on ALL of the current leases in buildings with horrifying deferred maintenance, c) delay this project and the efficiencies that will come out of it, and d)keep the Lincoln site shuttered, dangerous, crime-ridden, and yet still costing money to maintain.

I agree that more investment is also needed in parts of downtown, but what I believe that downtown boosters really need to do is to partner with the stakeholders and developers that are already paying attention to downtown, and to support and encourage them with your ideas, feedback, information and business.  There is so much happening downtown already.  I believe that this needs to happen in every part of town.  The development in Lincoln will reconnect the South End with downtown, something which is sorely needed and has been needed since the freeway divided us from downtown many years ago.  What is good for the South End is good for ALL of Tacoma.  It’s time for people to stop pitting one neighborhood against another and start realizing that investment in ANY part of Tacoma is good for everyone.

January 30, 2015 at 12:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 4

JesseRegistered

The fact of the matter is that we don’t know if this project costs more than a downtown version.  Sound ridiculous?  It’s not.  Downtown doesn’t need a shuttle service.  Downtown has great public transit and the ability of the County to have employees fen for themselves as far as parking goes - which really isn’t possible at 36th and Pacific.  Downtown, the County could get away with never building a parking spot again for future employees.  Downtown has greater possibilities as far as economic development… which brings me to my next example.

I spoke to Yareton Investments the other day.  They’re the people who are building the hotel at the Convention Center.  Are you familiar with that project?  It’s an $85m hotel project with a possible add on of a $65m condo tower.  It’s a huge win for Tacoma, IMO.  I went there to let them know about the County consolidation project and asked them if it would be within their interest to have 1300 middle class jobs added to the downtown core within blocks of their project.  I asked them if it would make a difference in their decision to build the second “possible” condo tower or not.  They said yes.  So, I understand they’re going to communicate this to both the City and County but I am not 100% sure if they will.  That’s a $65m add-on to the committed to portion of the project.

The point of that example is that the investment potential is eons larger in downtown than Lincoln… and property taxes on this project would cover the added costs of a garage (and you wouldn’t need as many spaces downtown) for the consolidation project in the downtown… THEN there’s all the other investment from those projects - instead of just the Yareton crane building the hotel, you’d then have the condo tower and consolidation project being done.  Have you EVER seen three cranes in the sky in Tacoma?

Also, there really is no “win” with parking in the 36th and Pacific neighborhood anyways.  If you build to much parking, everyone will drive to work, you’ll end up with even more parking in expensive garages later (kicking the can to the next generation), or walkability and density killed by surface level parking lots.  And, if you build not enough parking, people will park in the neighborhood.  Either way, this is a car-centric, density killing project - which is counter to practically all visioning and planning the city has ever done.  These problems (and many others) are why mid-rise office towers belong in the central business district.

This is why I have been so vocal about having an economic impact study done. We don’t know the true costs of this project.

January 31, 2015 at 4:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 1

thackerspeedRegistered

Travel to and from the Pierce County General Services Building is currently a matter of choice left to the individual.

January 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 5

thackerspeedRegistered

There are no growing plans that include renaming the site the Utopian Socialists Plaza.

January 29, 2015 at 9:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 6

James

This project is a planning failure.

We as a City, State and Country are moving towards greater density, diverse transportation options and greater sustainability in our daily lives. The County has chosen to completely disregard soliciting input on broader planning options and instead move forward with the design of a corporate campus circa 1950. Automobile-centric. Completely misguided and counter to many basic tenets of today’s regional and urban planning.

January 29, 2015 at 10:57 am / Reply / Quote and reply

10 | 1

Chris

The County has chosen to completely disregard soliciting input on broader planning options and instead move forward with the design of a corporate campus circa 1950..

Yeah, it’s an anachronism.  If you tried to build something like this in Seattle or Portland, you’d get outcry and the project would be stopped and reformulated.

January 29, 2015 at 3:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

10 | 0

RHTCCComedyfanRegistered

Some short videos here on why automobile centric transportation methods are gravely flawed.Whoever has created this GS Building Plan for their transportation study should have been retired as their methodology is obsolete and from the past.

This one is great and short.
His Youtube page has a lot of other great similar videos and examples
and he even sells some books on his ideas.He should win the Nobel Prize.

Car Trouble: And How to Fix It

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZQel28SsvM

Other ones

Leaving the Car Behind: Making Cities Walkable

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itOn8mPOlDc

This one is much longer

Smart Growth and Transit-Oriented Development

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q7pIjMwthY

Hamburg (Germany) Plans to Eliminate Need for Cars Within 20 Years

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU5E-5qnJ24


Lots of other videos on this subject just search and find more.

January 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

thackerspeedRegistered

“Some short videos here on why automobile centric transportation methods are gravely flawed.Whoever has created this GS Building Plan for their transportation study should have been retired as their methodology is obsolete and from the past.”—-RHTCCComedyfan

The assumption here is that people only buy cars for transportation.

Here’s some unsolicited advice: It’s easier to change location than to change people (and I don’t mean change the location of the GS building).

All the propaganda, political posturing, and attempted laws against people who want to live life according to personal responsibility, just will not change human nature.

Stop with all the BS linking this GS building to some imagined global catastrophe.

January 30, 2015 at 9:09 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 5

RHTCCComedyfanRegistered

The problem is that people are not living life according to personal responsibility rather the opposite of it due to either bad habits or ignorance.It would be somewhat similar to people smoking tobacco cigarettes and blowing that smoke in your face.Hypothetically if 95% of the population did that it doesn’t make it a healthy or smart choice.
So I am saying that the vast majority of people are wrong
in how they use (abuse) motor vehicles and they way they use transportation.A much worse problem is that this wrong choice is heavily subsidized that rewards and encourages this destructive activity.

This is not an imagined global catastrophe scientists already recognize the anthropocene termed era,the sixth mass extinction the greatest extinction event in Earth’s geologic history with events already occuring due to human activity (now an increased 150 to 200 species going extinct every day).
Disasterous climate change effects are also occuring and personal transporation mostly Internal Combustion Engine Motor Vehicles is responsible for around 10% of it.

So one could make a reasonable claim that ICE motor vehicles are perhaps responsible for 15 to 20 species going extinct every day.

The other reasons for mostly abandoning personal motor vehicle usage in current abusive usage are for wise personal and societal economic reasons and for having a healthy society.

January 31, 2015 at 1:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 0

thackerspeedRegistered

“This is not an imagined global catastrophe scientists already recognize the anthropocene termed era,the sixth mass extinction the greatest extinction event in Earth’s geologic history with events already occuring due to human activity (now an increased 150 to 200 species going extinct every day).”—-RHTCCComedyfan

Gee, I guess you and your subsidized transit comrades are right. Civilization is on trial.

Anyway, the daily business of guiding, governing, and guarding Pierce County is the immediate concern.

January 31, 2015 at 9:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 4

Sid

I will say it again, how come you folks don’t stand up against all the other injustices that take place in our neighborhood?  Why do you choose this one project to be the one to fight.  Do you think having a needle exchange in the middle of our neighborhood is the right thing to do?  I can tell you it is not and brings crime into our area.  Why is there no push to end this.  I’ll tell you why, it’s not because of the size of the project, but because it is not where you want it to be.

January 31, 2015 at 7:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 3

Terry

Thanks Sid! I’m not so sure many of the detractors to the site at 3580 Pacific Ave. have ever been there. Maybe they have driven by? In a car?
I’m tired of fighting about this stuff online and would love to meet any of you in person to go to site….. on foot or bike and have real conversation about this. I love walking and riding! and beer and coffee. take the asterisks out and use this email addy ******tacomee0@yahoo.com********* Friend or Foe…. let’s meet and talk!

February 1, 2015 at 8:04 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 2

thackerspeedRegistered

POST-TRAUMATIC PARKING LOT STRESS DISORDER—-The Progressive Degenerative Disease That Tax Dollars Won’t Cure

January 29, 2015 at 9:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 7

thackerspeedRegistered

Yes ladies and whatever, the day the new GS building parking area opens, I plan to drive my privately owned car into that lot and park there for a few moments of silent prayer. I am so thankful that this city, this county, this republic still has the potential to live according to the ideals of the founding fathers. The citizenry of this new GS building will signify by its planned reduction of expenditures and personnel, that the ideal of limiting the role of government in private lives can and should be sustained.

February 4, 2015 at 1:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 2

Paolo

The city and county always trade lands (just a few years ago, the county gave up its interests in Cheney Stadium as the city gave up its interests in the County-City Building; the city gave up ownership of Tacoma Narrows Airport-it is now run by the county).  By state law, the county’s administrative headquarters must be in Tacoma.  If the argument is that the county’s headquarters must be downtown to revitalize that area, critics of that idea win because parking costs too much.  Furthermore, why should citizens needing county services go there to buy a Starbucks beverage? Is that economic renewal, Tacoma-style?  A wiser analysis of the county’s office space needs compels the city and county to jointly review best uses of public lands at both S. 36th and Pacific and at the Tacoma Dome.  Twelve years ago while on Tacoma’s city council, Kevin Phelps proposed that the parking lots at the dome be developed for commerical offices with a firm he selected for the opportunity.  Critics at the time claimed his idea would hurt downtown but twelve years later, except for a headquarters builidng for Columbia Bank, not much as been built in the city center—a sharp contrast to Seattle’s current job-creating skyline expansion.  Imagine today if the county’s administrative headquarters rose by the Tacoma Dome, with convenient transit links aboard Sounder for residents of Sumner, Puyallup, South Tacoma and Lakewood to reach the facility.  the spin-off benefit with such activity in that neighborhood is citizens could ride Tacoma Link light rail to downtown where the emphasis should be on class-A market-rate office building construction.  Tacoma needs to create the people-activity on the streets that fuels private investments that create jobs—and the county’s adminiative complex near the Tacoma Dome could serve that objective.  36th and Pacific.  The South End and McKinley Hill clambor for jobs—the county’s investment in an administrative complex should be designed to fuel private-jobs development in Tacoma by creating neighborhood vigor near the Tacoma Dome.  The north parking lots at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field are now getting filled-in with such job-creating developments (Note the decision of Weyerhaeuser, a firm founded in Tacoma in 1900, to build its new headquarters nearby).  Likewise, King County has kept its adminstrative offices in new buildings constructed near the Metro Transit Tunnel’s Pioneer Square Station in downtown Seattle.  A cynic might view the ploy to have the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s commitment to occupy space in the building proposed for S. 36th and Pacific as a just a cynical means for the county’s leadership to have political leaders from towns across the county to buy into the vision as it stands.  Tacoma is often short-sighted in its planning and seems comfortable to tolerate mediocre growth; how convenient that twelve years onward Mr. Phelps has forgotten the great vision he had for the potential of the Tacoma Dome area for development.  He is audacious in his suggestion that no other reasonable alternatives exist.  As for the Tacoma Dome alternative, no other neighborhood in Tacoma has as much possible benefit for all Pierce County residents as a site for the county’s new administration building located between a downtown needing economic renewal and a South End/Eastside needing new jobs.

February 2, 2015 at 1:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 2

thackerspeedRegistered

“Imagine today if the county’s administrative headquarters rose by the Tacoma Dome, with convenient transit links aboard Sounder for residents of Sumner, Puyallup, South Tacoma and Lakewood to reach the facility. ...Tacoma needs to create the people-activity on the streets that fuels private investments that create jobs—and the county’s adminiative complex near the Tacoma Dome could serve that objective.”—-Paolo

Where does anyone get the idea that it is the role of government to artificially prop-up public transit?

Secondly, there’s a distinction between desire for growth and need for growth. In this case, the county is not solely concerned with the economic development of Tacoma. It is concerned with reducing operating expenses, which in turn serves the citizenry by reducing individual tax burdens. Then the private individual, because of increased personal equity, may invest in Tacoma, if he is confident that there is both a need and a desire for his product or service.

February 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

2 | 3

Xeno

“Where does anyone get the idea that it is the role of government to artificially prop-up public transit?”

Well considering county government subsidizes the cost of public transit, you’d be a fool and irresponsible to not utilize it in your own operating schemes.  Otherwise they could just build this building out in Eatonville where the land is the cheapest in the county.  The move by the county to locate outside of the downtown corridor or an area rezoned for growth like the dome district is just indicitive of the county’s pro-sprawl policies.  It is a microcosm of pushing growth to the fringe of where it is appropriate.  It isn’t suprising that whatever Pierce County touches turns to rust.  No cities want to annex their pitiful strip mall developments like South Hill & Summit. The 1950’s is alive and well in Pierce County.

February 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 0

Terry

I know that it might not occur at first glance that the 3580 Pacific Site is a great choice because of transit options, but it is! If you ride any of the ST Express buses Downtown all the have to do is transfer to the #1 local at UWT and the ride up the hill is less that 7 minutes. I do it all the time…. it’s way quicker than taking the Link across Downtown to Tacoma Ave N. And it’s served by 3 East Side/South end busses There are also bike lanes straight to the site up Delin St., left on 37th. Go ride the bus or bike and explore a new neighborhood, Tacoma is a cool town!  http://www.piercetransit.org/route-1-6th-ave-pacific/

February 3, 2015 at 2:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 1

JDHasty

Let’s put this into context:

I have less than $20 left in my bank account.

I think I’ll buy some property and build a new house.

You say I can’t?

I can if I’m the government.

February 3, 2015 at 10:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jesse

Rhodes Center at $26m and 188,000 square feet less first floor shops and 532 parking spots (Administration) renovated in 2001
http://cba.epropertydata.com/photos/pdf/fs/500980_1.pdf

Plus

Old City Hall at $3.5m and 84,000 square feet less first floor storefront (Executive Offices and high profile meeting rooms)
http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/16386780/625-Commerce-St-Tacoma-WA/

Plus

Park Place North at $2m.  490 parking spots and ability to build up.

and maybe…

Cornerstone Building at $10m and 93,000 square feet less first floor storefronts
http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/18333136/1148-Broadway-Tacoma-WA/

Total: $41.5m, 365,000 square feet of space, and over 1000 parking spots.  That leaves $85.5 million for renovations - out of a $127m budget. 

It eliminates needed shuttle service for the next 50-75 years (because LINK) and is walking distance to City Hall and the Justice Center.  It allows for county expansion on top of Park Place North and renovates / saves several buildings.

There’s so many better options…

February 3, 2015 at 12:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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