Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spaceworks is filling up downtown

Spaceworks Tacoma(, a collaboration between the City of Tacoma, Shunpike and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is placing local artists and entrepreneurs in vacant retail spaces in downtown Tacoma. The artists began installing their work on Monday. Expect to see more art, pop up stores and artists creating art in the coming weeks.

Here is the list of what to expect and where you can find it.

950 Pacific Ave (Property Owner: JohnsonSimon, LLC)
Artscapes Installations Artists:
June Sekiguchi
Mary Coss
Pam Hom

Woolworth Building (Property Manager: Tacoma Contemporary)
Artscapes Installations Artists:
Lisa KinoshitaAndrew Peterson
Joseph Songco
Gretchen Bennett
Zeitbike Crew: Scott McGee, Eric Holdener and Bil Fleming

628 St. Helens (Property Owner: Eric Cederstrand)
Sarah Magnum and Aaron Flett of the fledgling film production company, Aroma Films, will use the space as the principle location for their feature-length comedy which takes place in Tacoma.

906 Broadway (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Artscapes Installations Artists:
Michelle Acuff
Tory Franklin
Ben Hirschkoff

Jennifer Adams will create an art boutique called “FLY” that will represent several different local artists who create hand-crafted or designed items. FLY will be a mix of gallery and retail.

913 Pacific Ave. (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Susan Thompson creates pottery and will use the space to not only sell her products but also allow people to watch her create pieces while in the space. She will use this space during our second round of installations.

Kristie Worthey and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Theater Company will use the space as a rehearsal and performance space. Rehearsals and performances will be open to the public.

915 Pacific Ave. (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Tiffanie Peters is fashion designer who designs apparel, jewelry and accessories. She will be creating a boutique of her own hand-made products where people can shop and get one of a kind products.

1114 Broadway (Property Manager: Colliers International)
Isaac Olsen is a filmmakers and artist who will use the space to continue his film work and also sell merchandise such as DVD’s of his films, t-shirts and posters.

Joshua Everson is a teacher of Art, Graphic Design, and Photography who will use the space as a portrait studio and also a place for Joshua to provide services and lessons for other artists.

Meghan Lancaster is an artist who uses fiber and textiles to create works of varying scales. She will be using the space to display her art in the storefront window while also creating new pieces.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Paid on-street parking public meeting this Thursday

Only two more months until the on-street pay stations "go live" throughout downtown in mid-September. Now is the time to comment on how the public will experience the system.

The next public meeting on draft recommendations for downtown paid-on street parking system is this Thursday, July 1st, 2010, 5:00-6:00PM at the University of Washington Tacoma in the Tacoma Room (above the bookstore @ S. 19th & Pacific).

Meeting Topics:
5PM - The Return of Paid Parking in Downtown Tacoma
5:05 - Issues under review
- Paystation On-street Locations (See this previous post for more information)
- Paystation Signage
- Paystation Instructions
- Paystation Receipts
- Permits (Day Use, Barricade, Delivery, etc)
-Regulatory Changes
5:15 - Public Feedback
6PM - Adjourn

For information on Task Force recommendations or schedule please visit us online at If you would like to comment, but can't make it to the meeting provide your feedback to The Task Force looks forward to input from the community and responds to all comments and questions received.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food Vending Pilot Takes Off Downtown

Just in time for summer, a “sidewalk vending unit” pilot project (testing less stringent food cart vending regulations from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department) will begin in the BIA (Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area).

The Chamber’s Metropolitan Development Manager, Chelsea Levy, who oversees the BIA, “brought a deep knowledge of downtown Tacoma and is a big reason why downtown Tacoma was chosen as the pilot area,” said Tacoma City Councilperson Marty Campbell. “She was instrumental in bringing about the conservation about food carts. [Levy] was able to bring the perspective of many of our business owners and worked hard to make sure this would be a winnable solution for all.”

The hope is promotion and development of street food vending would create a liveliness that would attract more foot traffic and draw more business to the community.

Campbell cited compelling reasons why launching the pilot project in downtown Tacoma is important. “[Not only] will it bring vitality and foot traffic to our streets, along with activating sidewalks and public areas like Tollefson Plaza, it will bring entrepreneurial opportunities to Tacoma. It will provide low cost opportunities to both launch new businesses, but also allow current restaurants to project their presence and a sampling of their foods to people who may be unfamiliar with their menu,” Campbell said.

On June 15, the Tacoma City Council had their first reading of the ordinance changes. Given the level of interest expressed in the program, look for more tasty food choices springing up downtown in the near future.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Potential On-Street Parking Pay Station Locations Indicated throughout Downtown

Noticed those small white triangles on sidewalks throughout the downtown? If you're curious to know what these are and why they are there, read on!

As you are probably well aware by now, on-street paid parking will officially become a reality in downtown Tacoma this September. A voluntary, citizen-led Parking Management Advisory Task Force has been hard at work over the past months offering recommendations to the City of Tacoma on the roll-out of the new on-street system. Details on the on-street system can be found at

Over the summer, parking pay station infrastructure will be placed throughout the downtown. In a first cut at placement of these pay stations, the City of Tacoma has sprayed small, white triangles (pictured above) at the tentative location of these stations (example pictured below). The long side of the trangle is the back of the paystation, while the arrow points in the direction of the front side of the pay station where the customer interacts with the machine. The pay stations will be approximately 1 foot square and 5 feet high.

While the tentative locations of these stations is based on the criteria for placement set forth by the Parking Management Advisory Task Force, it is a first-cut at this placement. The City is very interested in property owner, business owner, student, and citizen input before final placement is determined. While this is not a call for debate on whether or not pay stations should be placed downtown at all, it is a call for specific concerns pertaining to placement of specific machines.

Should you have comments on a location of parking pay station, please submit to by Thursday, June 24th.

Should you want to know more about on-street paid parking in downtown Tacoma in general, including how you can provide more general public comment, visit

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NEW Walk Tacoma Downtown Walking Maps Now Available!

Interested in walking Tacoma's downtown? Downtown: On the Go!'s 5 new downtown walking maps will get you out and active while showing the many different sides of the South Sound's urban hub.

Branded as Walk Tacoma, each of the 5 routes takes the pedestrian on an interpretive tour of 8-10 sites. Even veteran Tacomans will discover something new as each map blends information on major landmarks and hidden gems. Routes average 1.5 miles in length, range in difficulty, and include estimates for calories burned.

How did the Walk Tacoma maps come about? In early 2010, Downtown: On the Go! convened a group of stakeholders within the downtown community to create downtown focused walking maps. The goals for these maps included: incentivizing walking as a healthy lunchtime activity, encouraging awareness of walkable distances, and cultivating an appreciation of Tacoma’s rich past, present, and future.

The Walk Tacoma maps were then designed by talented students from Pacific Lutheran University’s Design Team, and generously printed by MultiCare’s Center for Healthy Living.

Interested in obtaining copies? Visit Downtown: On the Go!'s website for more information: