Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Temple to Progress?

In 1998, Tacoma’s city center was plagued with dilapidated buildings in key, visible locations. Then the BIA undertook a campaign to to clean up key dilapidated properties in downtown Tacoma. The organization identified the nine most egregious properties (tagging them the "Neglected Nine"), contacted each of the property owners, provided expert teams to examine each building and offered a status report recommending appropriate action(s); subsequently, the BIA prepared marketing materials to assist real estate professionals in promoting each building for sale or lease. At the same time, the BIA filed formal complaints with the City of Tacoma to begin enforcement proceedings on all nine buildings. One of the nine buildings was the former Elks Temple, an eyesore at one of the gateways to downtown.

After years of effort, the Elks Lodge will change hands as part of a deal expected to wrap up this week with Williams & Dame Development. The Portland-based firm specializes in renovation and redevelopment of underused and undeveloped land. Williams & Dame has been creating visionary residential and mixed-use developments for more than two decades with projects in Portland's Pearl District and Los Angeles' South Park District, among others.

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