New Town Center Could Neighbor UWT

Downtown Tacoma could be a witness to another fundamental change.

Since 1990 UWT has been the staple of revitalizing the city’s image. The campus is nestled into the city, virtually unknown to those who live outside of the limits.

As you park your car and stroll to campus you might notice an empty lot on 21st and Jefferson, in the southwest corner of campus. During the summer of 2015 the City of Tacoma and North America Asset Management Group LLC (NAAMG) came to an agreement to construct a new Town Center on the 6.4 acre lot.

According to the NAAMG draft brochure, the first phase of the $125 million project is stated to happen in the summer of 2017, and is due to be completed by 2019.

According to NAAMG’s website, the mixed-use Town Center will mimic UW Seattle’s University Village. “The Tacoma Town Center will have a grocery store, a mix of shops, restaurants and food courts. In addition, there will be offices and housing.”

Construction, according to the NAAMG website, would include eight new buildings, 600 parking stalls, a student housing “tower,” and two residential housing “towers.” The center will take up 195,000 square feet.

The housing offered will include 360 residential and student housing units. According to NAAMG’s website, “The developer plans to build between 300-400 high density residential units, up to 200,000 square feet for retail uses and approximately 100,000 square feet of office space.”

“The Town Center will complement the historic Brewery District and capitalize on its prime location adjacent to the University of Washington Tacoma campus and east of St. Joseph’s Hospital with its over 5,000 employees,” says NAAMG.

There are about 343,000 Tacomans where the average income is approximately $66,000 a year within a six mile radius of the lot on Jefferson. The mixed-use facility will be surrounded by a multitude of other sit-down restaurants including the Rock, the Melting Pot, Indochine, and the Harmon.

NAAMG said on their website that roughly 7,000 students, faculty, and employees will have immediate access to the facility. The center will have a modern look; the majority of the outside will be surrounded by glass.

PHOTO BY ANNA K. FERN

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