Tacoma Dome Transit-Oriented Development - Take 2

The City of Tacoma is offering developers another chance at building a transit-oriented development adjacent to the Tacoma Dome park and ride. The City and Pierce Transit (the property owner) would like to see a "high density commuter housing project" built on the site.

If this sounds familiar, that's because this isn't the first time the City has issued a Request For Interest for the project. Back in 2014 the City issued an initial RFI, and in 2015 we heard news that a proposal was being vetted. Then things went quiet. That proposal must not have panned out, because this week the City announced that it would once again be seeking interest from developers. 

When originally advertised in 2014, the RFI envisioned a five- to seven-story mixed use project, with 75 to 100 residential units, mostly studio and one-bedrooms, along with 3,000 to 9,000 square feet of retail. The above image shows a rendering of hypothetical development on the site included in a 2013 report that called the Dome District an underutilized residential area. The 2015 proposal would have built a seven-story, mixed-use development with five floors with 100 apartment units over two floors of retail and parking.

As in 2014, the new RFI again touts the site's access to multiple modes of transportation, and downtown Tacoma's low residential vacancy rates, describing Tacoma as "a location of housing choice for employees in the region..."  The site's proximity to and views of the Foss Waterway are also called out, and the new announcement quotes Economic Development Director, Ricardo Noguera describing Tacoma's other selling points.

“With its increasingly vibrant urban core, Tacoma is a housing location of choice.  Residents enjoy Tacoma’s world renowned museum and theater districts, along with an increasing array of brewpubs, eateries, galleries and retail options.”

From the RFI, the site sounds shovel-ready. They're looking for projects that could be completed within 24 months or less. This time we don't see mention of City goals for the project in terms of size and number of units. Zoning allows for the site to be built up to 100 feet.

According to documents included in the RFI, residential rental occupancy in downtown Tacoma is in the neighborhood of 99%, with unit rents averaging around $2 per square-foot. 

Who's ready to build?

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Looks like a bunch of stacked up Conex.  Good God!

March 2, 2016 at 11:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 4

Old Ben Gunn

Looks like a bunch of stacked up Conex.   Good God!

March 4, 2016 at 3:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

8 | 0

Old Ben Gunn


However, they don’t have a light rail connection.

March 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

7 | 0


Yeah, right next to the brand new METHANOL FACTORY!!!!  First things first.  Kill the methanol proposal, THEN invite residential developers to build a residential complex at the Dome.  We’ve peronally called off our Tacoma househunt on the grounds that our new home would depreciate too much in value with an “Asargo Contamination Saga: Act II” going on.  The city really wants to solicit developer proposals for this location right now???

March 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

8 | 1

Donde Groovily

My thought is that the methanol plant probably won’t have much affect at all on the value of the property. Any who thinks of renting or buying there can see that there is a massive port next door, along with lots of heavy industry that go with that. Renters and buyers know what they’re getting and a methanol plant wouldn’t change much.

March 10, 2016 at 10:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 4


Donde, I respectfully disagree.  Yes, heavy industry is visible.  But there is a big difference between an import-export terminal that merely moves giant boxes between ships, rail, and trucks, and a refinery that manufactures a plastic from petroleum, producing dozens of hazardous chemicals during the process.  I, personally, would live nearby the first, but not the second.  Not all heavy industry is equal.  There is a big difference between the bicycle assembly factory that I grew up playing baseball and swimming right next to and the steel mills of Pittsburgh and Gary that supplied steel parts to the factory.

March 10, 2016 at 3:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

6 | 1

Jim C

Depreciate?!?? Have you not been paying attention to the market here, you say you were looking for a house…


It’s slowed down from the march of the past couple of years but I think property in Tacoma is still a pretty safe investment, regardless of where there is methanol plant on the Tideflats or not.

March 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 3


so, you think bringing hundreds of new jobs to the area is going to somehow depreciate the value of your home? By all means, please move to Everett.

March 23, 2016 at 10:41 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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