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Roberson to Buy Tacoma Armory
We’ve often said that more buildings should have turrets. In Tacoma, the historic Washington National Guard Armory building at South 11th and Yakima is one such building and it came on the market recently. Unlike some projects in town, this one didn’t stay on the market long. The News Tribune is reporting that Fred Roberson will pay $950,000 for the building.
The first order of business will be to stabilize the adjacent parking lot, below which is a portion of the armory’s basement. Roberson will need to work with the county, which owns a portion of the lot to address that issue. Then he’ll need to bring the building up to code, and update first floor offices.
If Roberson fills the existing offices, the large drill space in the center of the building could become an atrium and more offices. The outside of the historic structure will stay more or less as-is. Repairs will come a little at a time, so don’t expect to see the full building open for business immediately.
Roberson has a good track record of restoring historic spaces around Tacoma, so the armory will be in good hands. His projects include the Carlton Building, Harmon Lofts, and the Vintage Y. That said, office space seems like an awfully practical use for the fortress-like armory. We can’t help dreaming of more inventive uses.
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