Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Development on the Foss

Today the Tacoma City Council’s Economic Development Subcommittee excitedly listened to a presentation from the Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA) regarding the proposed sale and development of Site 1, an empty lot on the Foss Waterway sitting just north of 21st Street Park (under the 509 cable-stay bridge) and south of Albers Mill.

According to the proposal, Site 1 would be developed into The Henry, a mixed-use, residential and commercial structure, which would include 161 apartments, 13,000 square feet of office and retail space, 286 parking stalls, and potentially a rooftop restaurant on one end of the building, and a rooftop dog walk/park on the other. Development of the site would also include numerous offsite improvements to the park and the event space in front of Albers Mill.

The proposed sale price of the property is $25.00 per square foot for a total of $1,291,175, a price consistent with a recent appraisal of Thea’s Landing and Johnny’s Seafood, suggesting that the price is reflective of current market conditions.

The Henry Group, the only group to respond to the FWDA’s Request for Proposals, is the same group that pioneered the first development on the waterway, Thea’s Landing. Lessons learned from that experience are to be incorporated into the building design to provide better views of the waterway.

The project timeline has a bristling pace with construction expected to begin by the end of the year or earlier. Su Dowie, Executive Director of the FWDA, noted that the project was a valuable asset and could assist in getting “State Farm employees housing” downtown. As announced earlier this month, State Farm plans to expand its workforce in downtown Tacoma, bringing 1100 jobs to the area. Further, Dowie suggested that the development was not only a “great fit for the waterfront”, but also that it would bring stability and reassurance to other developers interested in downtown Tacoma.

The project now moves to the FWDA Board Agenda on May 22 and the City Council Agenda on May 29. Shoreline permits are expected to be approved May and June and the design review to be complete by September.

For more information on the project, visit The News Tribune.

Monday, April 22, 2013

PAC Ave April 22 Update and Coffee Talk/Mixer

The contractor is finishing tasks in Phase 1A and has started preliminary work (temporary lighting, potholing, and tree and underground storage tank removal) between S. 7th and S. 9th St. on the west side (expanded Phase 1B).  In an effort to stay on schedule, full construction will begin on the west side between S. 7th and S. 9th St. mid-late next week, weather dependent.  This will include temporary removal of all parking and the installation of revised pedestrian routes in this area.  Traffic detours that are currently in place (use of S.13th St/S.15th St. to I-705) will remain operational.

With this new work, the majority of parking in Phase 1A will open up, with the exception of the S. 11th to S. 12th St. (Starbucks) block due to planter/stair construction in that area.  For all other blocks, the contractor will reserve two parking spaces immediately adjacent to each rain garden to complete final tasks. 

Remaining tasks associated with Phase 1A include:

  • Continued work at each rain garden/landscaping
  • Miscellaneous sidewalk placement/replacement (vault infill, cobble sections, etc.)
  • Concrete planters/stairs between S. 11th and S. 12th St.
  • Installation of remaining street lights
A flyer update will be distributed to the S. 7th to S. 9th St. area businesses on Monday, April 22nd.
In addition, there will be Coffee Talk/ Evening Mixer on Thursday, April 25th from 5:00-6:00 PM at Tacoma Cabana 728 Pacific Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402 to discuss the project.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Pacific Avenue Streetscape April 16 Weekly Construction Update

A special public meeting was held last week at the Chamber to discuss the project's schedule and options for making up time due to unforeseen issues.  It was proposed to expand Phase 1B to include the west side of Pacific Avenue from S. 7th to S.13th Street. In preparation for this work, the contractor will begin tree removal, the installation of temporary lighting, and potholing for buried utilities within this expanded area. The contractor will contact adjacent businesses before this preliminary work begins.   

Construction Schedule & Progress

  • Sidewalks:  The pedestrian path through Phase 1A is generally complete.  Small portions of sidewalk yet to be constructed include areas receiving a cobble finish in the vicinity of bulb outs, and gray sidewalk panels immediately adjacent to the rain gardens.
  • Curb & Gutter:  The majority of the curb & gutter on the east side of Pacific Avenue between S. 9th & S.13th is complete.  Curb and gutter work at the rain gardens is expected to be complete by the end of the month.
  • Bulb Outs:  The new bulb out on the SE corner of S. 9th Street is complete and open to pedestrian traffic. The bulb out on the NE corner of S.11th St. is tentatively planned for completion this week.
  • Electrical:  Temporary lighting is being installed on the west side of Pacific Avenue between    S. 7th and S. 9th in preparation for the start of the expanded Phase 1B.
  • Rain Garden: Concrete work continues in each rain garden in preparation for the installation of the impermeable liners and the placement of treatment media, soils and plants. Work is expected to continue through the end of the month.
  • Planters:  Topsoil has been installed at several tree pit/planter locations. Select trees were planted last week from S. 9th to S.12th Street.
  • Vault Infill: Work on the vault infill at 1007 Pacific Avenue is ongoing and is expected to be complete by early April.
  • Traffic Control: The contractor has replaced a number of the water-filled traffic barriers on the east side of Pacific Avenue with orange traffic barrels. Parking meters and signs are expected to be installed within the next two weeks. Once these are in place, select areas will be opened for parking. 
  • Nighttime Security Precautions:  With spring & summer arriving and outdoor patios opening up between 7th and 9th, there is an increase in pedestrian traffic along Pacific Avenue.  The contractor will be taking additional measures to make the work areas along the sidewalks  as safe as possible for the public.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Council Briefing on Hybrid Link Expansion Tomorrow

There has been much discussion on the Tacoma City Council’s preferred expansion of the Sound Transit Tacoma Link. Tomorrow, the Council will hear Sound Transit’s evaluation of a hybrid corridor introduced last month that would incorporate different portions of the original proposed routes from the North End Central, Eastside, and North Downtown Central corridors.
Additionally, Sound Transit will also present information on a different hybrid option.

The Council plans to form a resolution on April 30 in support of a preferred route. For more information, visit the City Council’s website.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Pacific Avenue Streetscape April 9 Weekly Construction Update

Construction Schedule & Progress

• Sidewalks:  The last portions of the sidewalk on the east side of Pacific Avenue between S. 9th & S.13th Street should be poured by the end of this week. 
• Curb & Gutter:  The last portions of the curb & gutter on the east side of Pacific Avenue between S. 9th & S.13th should be poured by the end of this week.
• Bulb Outs: The new bulb out on the SE corner of S. 9th Street is expected to be completed by the end of this week.  Currently this work impacts eastbound and westbound traffic on S. 9th Street.
• Rain Garden: Irrigation and concrete work is ongoing as we progress through each rain garden. The liners will be installed this week with the under drain pipes and drainage gravel placed shortly after. 
• Planters:  The planting of trees & shrubs will begin later this week.
• Vault Infill: Work on the vault infill at 1007 Pacific Avenue began a few weeks ago and is expected to be complete by the end of this month.
• Traffic Control: Traffic control and temporary pedestrian access is in place on the east side of Pacific Avenue between S. 9th and S.13th. The outside lane of northbound through traffic and the parallel parking lane is closed for construction work.
• Daffodil Parade:  The 80th Annual Daffodil Parade will be taking place this Saturday, April 13th.  The parade route will be on Pacific Avenue from S.11th through S.19th Street, with queuing along Pacific Avenue from S. 7th to S.11th, including side streets. 
• Y Run for Kids:  The YMCA will be hosting their annual Y Run for Kids this Saturday with registration beginning at 7 am and the event ending just before the Daffodil Parade.  The run begins and ends in the 1500 block of Pacific Avenue at Tollefson Plaza. 

Road Closures for Daffodil Parade

The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and it is time for the 80th annual Daffodil Parade! The parade will take place this Saturday, April 13 with the following roads closed from 5 a.m to noon:
• A Street, Ninth Street to 24th Street
• Pacific Avenue, from Ninth Street to 24th Street
• Commerce Street, from Ninth Streeth to 24th Street
• East 11th Street from Market Street to Portland Avenue
• East 11th Street will be one-way eastbound from St. Paul to Portland Avenue

Impact on local freeways

The A Street and 15th Street exits from I-705 will be closed.  Schuster Parkway will remain open and Commerce Street will be accessible from the Stadium exit.  The I-705 on-ramp at Ninth Street will be open and drivers will be able to cross Pacific Avenue at SR-509 and 21st Street. 

For more information on road closures associated with the Tacoma Daffodil Parade, please call (253) 591-5932.

Opus Bank to Open Downtown

Downtown Tacoma continues to attract new businesses to the area. Irvine, California- based Opus Bank announced it will be opening a new banking office on the first floor of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce building at the corner of Pacific and 11th Street. Additional information can be found on the Business Examiner website.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Pacific Avenue Special Meeting Held Thursday

The Pacific Avenue Streetscape reconstruction is well underway. While there have been notable delays the City and the City’s contractor remain committed to completing the project this November.

In order to discuss potential changes to the project’s phasing and sequencing, gain stakeholder input, as well as answer any questions, stakeholders are invited to attend a special meeting held this Thursday, April 11 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Tacoma- Pierce County Chamber's offices located at 950 Pacific Avenue, Suite 300 Tacoma, Washington 98401.

For more information visit the project website.