University Pays $1 Million to Move the Old Spaghetti Factory

Route to New Spaghetti FactoryThe Old Spaghetti Factory (later referred to as the factory), located on 1735 Jefferson Ave. will be relocating to 1250 Pacific Ave next year. UW and the factory came to a friendly agreement to end the lease early with a closing deal of $992,000. The space will be replaced with a new university building.

According to Director of Campus Planning and Real Estate, Patrick Clark, construction for the renovation can be as soon as January or as late as May of 2016. The uncertainty of when the renovation will complete is due to the completion of the factory’s new location.

Currently, the prospective university building has no name. “The project name is referred to as the Urban Solutions Ctr, but I doubt that will be the permanent name,” Clark said.

The distance between the two locations is minimal, just a 10 minute walk or a 7 minute ride on the Tacoma Link Rail, which is also on Pacific Avenue.

The space, which is around 10,000 square feet, will be renovated to accommodate the growth of UW. According to Clark this will result in a 4-5% enrollment increase per year. The Urban Solutions Center will allow the campus to accommodate approximately 700-800 more students, which will maintain low class sizes on campus.

UW’s former Chancellor, Debra Friedman, established a goal of attaining 7,000 students by 2020. Clark said, “the school is more likely to generate 6,000-6,200 students by 2020, but that number could fluctuate in coming years.”

The newly constructed building will include classrooms, a computer center, science labs, and a quiet study area for students.

“Construction is approximated at 28 million dollars, in which $18 million is funded from the State Legislature, and the other $10 million comes from the campus reserves,” Clark said.

The Urban Solutions Center project and its construction costs will not affect tuition costs in the coming years, as they are guaranteed to remain at $11,907 through the 2016 school year.

Clark says, “the goal of the renovation is to maintain and increase the growth of the university, and doing so in a way that the university keeps its ‘urban roots within Downtown Tacoma.'” The new academic building, according to Clark, will have a modern look, and will be constructed with sustainable material made by local Tacoma companies.

The factory’s new location will be shared with a bank. The name of the bank is unknown currently. Although the new location’s space is much larger, the occupancy level will be roughly the same due to the bank splitting the first floor.

Regarding The Old Spaghetti Factory continuing business in the Tacoma market, The Old Spaghetti Factory’s Marketing Director Ryan Durrett said, “The Tacoma location was our fourth location that we opened. We simply do not want to leave. I am pleased with the positive collaboration maintained with the City of Tacoma, the UWT and the Old Spaghetti Factory. Our company is excited to move on to their new location on Pacific Avenue and continue business in the Tacoma market,” says Durrett.

When speaking with Kyle Hayden, a customer of the Tacoma location regarding the buyout, he said, “I really like the current location a lot, it will be interesting to see what they do with the new place.” In regards to the relocation Hayden said, “It’s just right down the street, but I think it might be very different in experience, I will just have to see.”

Construction of the Urban Solutions Center should be complete by the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. And the new Old Spaghetti Factory should be up and running days after their current location closes down.

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