However, the planned improvements will provide a much needed pedestrian link between Commerce St. and Pacific Ave. The City and BLRB Architects have developed a plan to replace the stairway and plants with a design-to-suit retail building and outdoor courtyard as part of the Pacific Plaza redevelopment. A 15 foot wide stairway will be built where the cement catacomb that once housed the escalator now stands.
Plans for this project have included a number of community stakeholders. Public Art for the area is coordinated by the City’s Arts Administrator, Amy McBride. The owners of the adjacent building are working with local architect David Boe to design small improvements to their building that will promote plenty of watchful eyes on the stairway and courtyard. Lastly, The designs were reviewed by the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Police Department and take into consideration Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) recommendations.
The designs were reviewed by the City Council’s Economic Development Committee last week. Look for construction of the improvements to begin soon.