Tacoma Dome Transit Oriented Development - Who’s Interested?

Pierce Transit and the City of Tacoma are looking for someone to invest in a new transit oriented development near the Tacoma Dome. This week the City issued a Request for Interest in the site at 415 East 25th Street. The site sits across the street from Freighthouse Square, just west of the Tacoma Dome park and ride.

The existing building on the half acre of Pierce Transit owned land would be demolished to make way for a "high quality transit-oriented housing project." 

According to the RFI, target tenant markets include commuters to Seattle, with market studies suggesting that the site is a good spot for a five to seven story, 75- to 100-unit, primarily studio and one-bedroom, multi-family housing. The project would also be likely to include 3,000 to 9,000 square feet of commercial space for Pierce Transit uses, as well as retail space. The appraised value of the property is listed at $525,000. 

Responses to the RFI are due to the City of Tacoma by August 25.

A recent feasibility study called the Dome District "one of the most underutilized residential districts in the South Sound." That study, produced in partnership between Tacoma Housing Authority and Pierce Transit, envisions a mixed-use, mixed-income structure, envisioned in the artist's rendering at the top of this article. That same image appears in the City's current RFI.

The location is a hub of transit, for Sounder, Link, local and regional buses, and the new Amtrak station, not to mention easy freeway access. Community and Economic Development is calling the site "a premier Transit Oriented Development site.

So, who's interested in building on this premiere site? How about residents - who's interested in living here?


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Comments

JDHasty

Interestingly the artist’s rendition of the project features the broken down pile of junk “public art” that has not worked in well over a decade.  This is really no different than having a neighbor who has a broken down 1982 Camaro sitting on blocks on the front lawn for north of a decade.

According to Pierce Transit & Sound Transit, Freight House Square was to be a bustling, thriving shopping mecca.  As it is the shops therein are barely keeping their head above water.  Commuters have very definite habits and the well documented pattern is that they are in a hurry to get to home and do not stick around and shop near transit centers.

That combined with train whistles at all hours of the day and night and I think this will be a tough sell.

If I were looking for a business model that has a better chance of paying off I would think that a full service automobile service facility would do quite well.  A person could park their vehicle in the garage and then drop off the keys and parking stall number at the garage before heading to work.  When they get off the train they can pick up their car with new tires on it, or new brakes, perhaps a transmission service or maybe just an oil change.   

Just saying.

June 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Morgan

Hey Hasty, this is the first time I’ve read something from you that wasn’t vitriolic hate.  It was actually an idea worth merit.  Keep ‘em coming.

June 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

Is the piece of “public art” that is in the photograph broken?

How long has it been since it last functioned?

Did ST sell the public on the notion that Freighthouse Square would thrive once commuter rail was located there?

Have businesses located in Freighthouse Square prospered?  Can you document that? 

What I point out are facts, inconvenient facts to a charlatan who is selling unicorn dust, but facts.  There is no vitriolic or hateful there.

June 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Morgan

Aaaaand we’re back to angry spew.

June 22, 2014 at 9:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

If my pointing out fraud, waste, graft and other local agency abuse is inconvenient for you to read then it is you who has the problem.  Yep, I hate fraus, waste, graft and local agency abuse and I take it as a compliment that you recognize that I am not going to just bend over and take it, and I am not going to go along to get along as public officials fail at basic tasks of governance and public administration.  I could make the case that people who object to me pointing that out are a big part of the problems, but everybody already knows that.

June 22, 2014 at 10:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jenny JRegistered

Is that a raging party or some sort of aerobics class going on in the big second floor window?

June 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

I always love artist’s renditions.  The biker is going to be hit by light rail, there are various swarms of birds going places like a new pope was chosen, and I love the ghost people.  Anyways, the model works if the price is right.  Currently TOD in Seattle is some of the cheaper housing.  The purpose of it here would make sense once the market is right, which it doesn’t seem to be at the moment.

June 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

“Currently TOD in Seattle is some of the cheaper housing.  “

There is a reason for that.  Living at a transit center is a last resort. 

June 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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nwcolorist

The reason this area is “one of the most underutilized residential districts in the South Sound” is that people don’t want to live in that area.

I hope the City Council stays away from this.

June 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Sid

As it stands now, Tacoma = Civic Neglect.  I have tried over and over again over the years to justify thinking otherwise and the city folk always let me down.  They are simply not qualified or interested in doing things the right way.  They simply earn a paycheck, without having the emotional investment that is truly needed to make positive changes in a city like ours.  It has nothing to do with being a downer, it is just sad to drive down Fawcett and the street that bears the name of the city, Tacoma Ave. and see how backwards this city is.  It always amazes me how for a city that lacks funding or acumen to run itself, lacks ordinances to enforce property maintenance practices by its citizens in order to make it a great place for all.  Drive down Alaska st. and you will see all these great street islands full of weeds and lacking paint.  I remember not too long ago they were celebrating them, now they look horrible.  Tacoma = Civic Neglect, that is why we can’t have nice things.  We lack vision here in a serious way and there is no museum that will change that.

June 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

Spot on Sid.  A few years back the City managed to “find” money to fund a landscaped center island on N 26th street.  Within two years it was a disgrace, over grown with weeds and strewn with trash.

So I contact the City and the current PW Director returns my call and emails and informed me that the neighborhood council requested it and promised to maintain it.  So I contacted the News Buffoon and Kathleen Merryman contacts the North End Neighborhood Council and not only did they make no such promise…..they let the City know that they did not wish to sponsor the project because they were concerned about ongoing maintenance issues. 

I have documentation archived regarding this and other instances of the City of Tacoma not only failing to provide basic functions of local government is expected to provide, i have documentation that proves that the City has not been forthright.

Unfortunately Sid, I don’t know what the answer is.  I do, however, not intend to be quiet about things I recognize as not right.  And there is a lot in Tacoma that is not right.

June 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Sid

JDHasty, it sounds exactly what my experiences with the city have been.

June 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

Does anyone live in this neighborhood now?  Granted that the transit situation is great there, it’s somewhat cut off from the rest of downtown and completely cut off from the waterway that happens to sit literally a stones throw away.  Raise building height limits and move the railroad so this area is actually on the water.  Dredge out most of the land east of the Puyallup river into an inner harbor (ala Victoria) so that water and boats can be seen from walking any street in south downtown and the Dome District.  Instead, you see tilt-up buildings and browns fields.  Views.  Views.  Views.  Until then, I just don’t see this area being much more than it is now.  But, all this is a huge heavy-lift on the scale of the Denny regrade and requires fixing a problem instead of patching symptoms.

June 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RHTCCComedyfanRegistered

How about bum shacks and a tent city there for the street people that normally live in cardboard boxes.

June 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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thackerspeedRegistered

Ladies and gentleman—and please think about those words—we people are not a means to serve the ends of mechanization.

June 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Chris

I’m only interested if I can buy a unit.  I’m done renting, thanks.

June 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jim C

Lynne Griffith, quoted from the RFI press release: “This is an excellent opportunity for the City of Tacoma, Pierce Transit and the right development partner to create an innovative, transit-oriented housing solution in the Dome District…”

“Transit-oriented housing”, to me, means your house has wheels on it ;)  Which is about as valuable as any housing next to the Tideflats and train tracks is ever going to be.

June 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

Let Lynne Griffithcash in her retirement and mortgage her home and she can team up with “the right development partner” and make a killing.  Or maybe not.

June 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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thackerspeedRegistered

“Which is about as valuable as any housing next to the Tideflats and train tracks is ever going to be.”—Jim C

On the up side, if the portrayed complex is built then the tenants from Thea Foss Waterway will finally have something to aspire to.

June 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jim C

That Foss-side mixed-use development could be considered attractive to potential buyers if they have a frequent need to pop out for a quick yacht, they can lease all the yachts they need without ever having to get in a car.

June 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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thackerspeedRegistered

I suppose one could call Thea Foss Waterway a “high quality transit-oriented housing project” in the same sense that Community and Economic Development is calling East 25th St “a premier Transit Oriented Development site.”

The romanticism of yachts and trains and buses providing enviable status and adventure to mixed-income, socially disparate neighborhoods is the essence of Tacoma.

June 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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