Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tacoma Ranked on the "10 Hot Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2016"

Earlier this December, Trulia, named Tacoma 10th on their “10 Hot Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2016.” Trulia regards Tacoma for our natural beauty, the wide array of outdoor activities we have to offer, and a flourishing arts and culture community. 

Another highlight in our ranking is that while we are surrounded by major employers, we have kept the city an affordable place to call home, making Tacoma an “attractive destination for young professionals and families in the Pacific Northwest.” 
Tacoma was listed alongside some amazing cities such as, Grand Rapids, Charleston, Austin, Baton Rouge, San Antonio, and Colorado Springs, just to name a few. 

With the recent announcements of the Link extensions and the luxury hotels that are going to be opening in the next few years, Tacoma will be sure to rank even higher in the years to come.  

Check out the full article here and explore some of the real estate opportunities that Tacoma has to offer. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tacoma's First Night Festival

Looking for amazing New Year Eve plans? Tacoma has your answer. For the 20th year, First Night will be hosted in downtown Tacoma. Full of family fun, art, music, fire, ice, and so much more; ringing in the New Year has never been better!

The $10 button required for entrance gives you access to 10 stages, over 50 artists, and all day activities such as, free access to the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Children’s Museum, and free skate rentals at Franciscan Polar Plaza. If you don't purchase your button in advance, it will be $14 at the door. 

First night typically draws in anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 participants so you want to make sure to get there early and grab some parking. They are encouraging attendees to park at the Tacoma Dome and take the Link down to the festival. The Link will be running until 1:00AM and give you plenty of time to get back to your car as hassle free as possible. First Night runs from 6pm-12am on Thursday, December 31st.

There will be food trucks and restaurant deals happening all over town. Be sure to check out their website to get a full list of all the perks and packages available. 

To purchase your button click here and if you want to find out more click here

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5th Anniversary of the CHI Franciscan Polar Plaza

CHI Franciscan Polar Plaza is here for their fifth year at Tollefson Plaza located at 17th and Pacific. While they are experts in all things fun and ice-skating, this year they have taken entertainment to a whole new level! 

This year CHI Franciscan partnered up with the Tacoma Art Museum, Metro Parks Tacoma and the City of Tacoma to bring you wonderful theme filled adventures. Including a nature skate on December 22nd, a blind date skate on the 23rd, Karaoke Night on the 26th, celebrate a teacher you know and love with Teacher’s Night Out on December 27th, and many more amazing themes! 

There will also be food, music, and art for the whole family to enjoy! Hometown Dogs food truck will be at the rink December 15-17, 19-20 and January 1-3 from 11:30am-9:00pm. 

The Polar Plaza will be open now until January 10th so be sure to skate on down!

For more information and hours click here

Monday, December 21, 2015

Two Big Wins for Tacoma Transit

Last week the Sound Transit Board approved their 2016 budget, which dedicated funds to Tacoma, Lakewood, Federal Way, Seattle, Everett and other transit systems. The Sound Transit Board approved an overall budget of $1.2 billion; $802.9 million of that was dedicated to expansions with an emphasis on light rail expansions. 

Some of the plans include $44 million to complete the final design and begin constructing the Tacoma Trestle, $7 million for the Tacoma Link extension, $11 million to complete final design and start construction of an expanded Sounder layover facility in Lakewood that will accommodate added south line service by 2017, $9 million to purchase new coaches for expanded Sounder service to Lakewood, and many other projects around Western Washington. 

More funding will be made available to Tacoma from the Federal Transit Administration's budget, as voted on last week by the House and Senate. Sound Transit reports $74.99 million in Small Starts funding will be dedicated to extending the Tacoma Link light rail line into the Hilltop neighborhood. The funding will go specifically towards the expansion voters approved in 2008. The expansion will create an additional 2.4 miles along Stadium Way to the Hilltop District. 

Moving forward with the strong support for continued expansions the Sound Transit Board will be placing a comprehensive package for voters to consider next November. The measure will be known as the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure and will be available as a draft in early 2016. 

Follow the links below for more information: 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hotels on the Horizon

With the announcement of McMenamins winning the bid a few weeks ago for the Old City Hall building, everyone seems to be making announcements for new and upcoming hotel projects for Tacoma's future. 

Almost eight years ago, Bellevue's Silver Cloud Inn and Hotels announced that they would be developing an 180 room hotel on Point Ruston, and it has just been announced that construction is finally underway. The delay can be attributed to a slow moving recession coupled with disputes over land-use permits with the City of Ruston. Bellevue's Silver Cloud Inn and Hotels is set to open in 2018 and planned to include one restaurant, a ballroom, meeting rooms, a pool, an exercise room, and a parking garage. 

There are two other major proposals on the table for the future of Tacoma's tourist and business industry. A Chinese investment group, who is still gathering investors, is interested in creating a 24-story, 300 room high rise. It is proposed that this would be a convention hotel along with a condominium complex. The second is coming from Hollander Investments and they have their eyes on the Thea Foss Waterway. Hollander and Investments is planning to build a hotel and an office complex. The first of the buildings to go up will be a nine-story Marriott Residence Inn that will provided 104 rooms. Ground breaking dates have not been set yet, Hollander and Investments are waiting to see how the other proposed hotels do before starting construction. 

If everything goes as planned Tacoma can expect to see five new hotels, at least one more condominium complex, and an increase in office spaces and store fronts in the next few years. Tacoma truly is the City of Destiny and is planning on making a large impact on Tacoma's small business and local economy. 

ead more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article49463305.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article49463305.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, December 07, 2015

Tacoma takes 4th in "Top 10 Best Places to Retire"

In a recent ranking conducted by Livability, Tacoma has been ranked 4th on their “Top 10 Best Places to Retire.” Tacoma was selected for having luxury condos, suburban neighborhoods, and a restored downtown that boasts a “collection of cultural amenities.” 

Tacoma also offers affordable health care, a wide array of wonderful hospitals, and over 10 retirement and assisted living facilities. We also have a high concentration of parks and golf courses, the Puget Sound, museums, a wide collection of performing art centers, and of course amazing food options. 

Livability had nothing but wonderful things to say about the Tacoma area and even gave a shout out to the fact that we are a wonderful place for young families to also find their place in all that Tacoma has to offer. 

Tacoma was also ranked 42nd in their most recent “Top 100 Best Places to Live.” This just proves that whether you are ready to retire or start a family, Tacoma is the perfect place to settle down and enjoy all we have to offer. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Six Years and Waiting

Announced almost six years ago was the purchasing of the Elks Lodge in downtown Tacoma. Roughly a month ago came the announcement that renovations were finally beginning. Why the six year lag you ask? Well, the purchasing company, McMenamins has your answer.

To find the answer you first need to know who is McMenamins? McMenamins is a Portland based entertainment company that holds properties throughout Oregon, Bothell and now Tacoma. They also only work on one project at a time, which explains the gap. With the Bothell building now complete, it is finally Tacoma’s turn.

Another recent announcement was that the City of Tacoma has awarded McMenamins with the bid for Old City Hall, located across the street from the Elks Lodge.

McMenamins has a thirty year history of turning historic buildings into entertainment and lodging locations. They are currently planning on renovating the Elks Lodge to feature an event space and a rooftop garden, accompanied by three restaurants, a bar, and a brewery. To top off this massive renovation, there will also be approximately 46 hotel rooms for guests to stay and play. The Old City Hall, which will be a few years behind the Elks Lodge, will be a complimentary experience for guests. The plan for Old City Hall is to have at least 60 hotel rooms, a gift shop, soaking pools, community and private meeting spaces, along with a jailhouse themed bar and a rooftop restaurant featuring a greenhouse. The Elks Lodge will have more of a unique floor plan with a labyrinth of different types of rooms, while the Old City Hall will keep its classic design consistent throughout the building.

This is looking to be two very large renovations with promising outcomes. These plans will not only take the burden of these two beautiful yet deteriorating buildings off the shoulders of the city but it will also be an amazing new opportunity for tourism and small businesses to flourish.

The Elks lodge has been purchased completely by McMenamins and due to it being a private selling process, no firm timelines were made mandatory for this building.  However, they are hopeful there will be an opening mid-2017. The Old City Hall is on a lease to potentially own status with firm deadlines so as not to experience a six year lag as with the Elks Lodge. Final details, deadlines, and costs have not yet been set but City Council is hoping to have everything approved by early next year. Decisions on if this will be a purchase to own property are still unclear and neither party is giving an indication on which way they are leaning.

With only a handful of historic buildings left to renovate in Tacoma, many people are looking to see what possible projects could be on the horizon for the companies who were outbid for the Old City Hall. Companies such as, Daniels Real Estate, a Seattle based company with experience in historical restorations, lost to McMenamins but is still interested in moving to Tacoma. Some are speculating that the Washington Building on Pacific Ave, the University-Union Club at 539 Broadway, and the Mansion on Broadway may be next to join the ranks of Tacoma’s beautiful historic renovations. Tacoma has a strong grip on their past and is not going to let changing times take away from the rich history that we have to offer. Restoring historic buildings is classically Tacoma and here to stay for many more generations to enjoy.