Monday, October 15, 2007

Luzon at the 'Tipping Point'

Dan Voelpel's column in Sunday's edition of The News Tribune announces what may be a crucial "tipping point" for efforts to restore the Luzon Building, an 1890 Burnham & Root building listed on the national, state, and city registers of historic places.

The current owner--Oakland-based Horizon Partners--is reportedly ready to part with the Luzon for $75,000 and throw in a 14-foot-wide strip of the parking lot next door as a buyer bonus. Horizon currently has one potential buyer expressing interest: the Gintz Group, a Tacoma development company currently restoring the former Mecca Theater building on Broadway.

Several years ago, the listing of this building by the BIA as one of downtown's "Neglected Nine" helped to forestall its complete collapse, but the building is clearly once again at a crossroads now due to significant ongoing deterioration. The effort may hinge upon the City of Tacoma issuing a no-interest loan for $1.65 million.

The loan will be on the agenda for the Tacoma City Council's Economic Development Committee on October 23rd, and before the full City Council for action on October 30th.

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