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.

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