Wednesday, September 13, 2006

About Last Night...

Members of the Tacoma City Council made the right decision last night in agreeing to postpone approval of a loan guarantee for A.F. Evans Development on the controversial Winthrop Hotel project. Despite pressure on the Oakland-based developer from lenders, the additional time can only bring about a better resolution for all parties--especially downtown stakeholders.

Our testimony at the public hearing was apparently well-received, and we recap the points we made to Council as follows:
  • We support restoration of the Winthrop Hotel;
  • As you [members of the City Council] know, the area around the Winthrop has been a tremendous drain on resources from the BIA (funded by downtown property owners) and from the Tacoma Police Department. This public disorder has been exacerbated by the unwillingness of current management to work with community stakeholders for a solution. Whatever use you eventually support for the Winthrop, we hope that you will make management of this property a high priority in your considerations;
  • It's gratifying to see the amount of public input--from blogs to letters to the editor--generated by this decision...this is the most discussed decision in downtown Tacoma since, well, the decision to rename the Plaza! Downtown is once again developing a robust sense of community, and future decisions will engender a much broader sample of input...
  • It's equally gratifying to see the expansion in the number of parties willing to invest their money in this building's future; we have encouraged discussion and, hopefully, new partnerships among those parties. We hope you will do the same.

For a broader sample of the voices raised on this subject, please check out the robust discussion on Derek Young's blog.


  1. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Nice work at the meeting yesterday. Paul was one of numerous local professionals who got up to share their reasons why postponing the Million Dollar Question made sense.

  2. Anonymous11:30 AM

    What of the half nude lumberjack types hanging out of the lower level windows of the winthrop hotel, cat calling to the homeless junkies across the street? Who speaks for them?

  3. What last night showed was that Tacomans overwhelmingly desire to restore the Winthrop Hotel into a working hotel again.

    We all wish Quigg and his extensive team well in this endeavor.

    However, whether it is Quigg or another group, the Winthrop Hotel needs to be restored.

    The council should not be spending $1,000,000 in taxpayer funds to keep it a high rise low income housing complex under any circumstances. These funds could be spent on a successful mixed income disbursed housing proposal.

    Plus, such an expenditure would keep any group from restoring the Winthrop Hotel in the future.

    There are currently a number of very interested groups in the Winthrop.