Tacoma Urbanist

Dec. 24, 2007 at 12:38am

Christmas Eve Special : Councilmember Bill Evans Best Vote For Downtown Tacoma

On Exit 133, Tacomans discussed the best vote retiring Bill Evans made on Tacoma City.

Evan's vote that likely will have the most beneficial long term effect on the functioning of downtown IMO was the vote to rebuild the South Park Plaza Parking Garage.  Boring I know.

Yet, this action went a long ways toward making up for city's sins of the past when an earlier council destroyed a block of historical buildings to build blightful parking garage appropriately name the "Dead Zone" by the Tacoma Daily Index.  The South Park Plaza parking garage has been referred to as a "tombstone" by Mayor Baarsma.

Tacoma residents and our leaders are left with the task of making such maimed areas of our downtown functional again.

Here it is now:

It wasn't just a matter of aesthetics.  The construction of the South Park Parking Plaza destroyed an entire block of Tacoma's streetscape on Pacific Avenue.  Only one of 7 retail spots really had a successful business.  Two potential retail spots were destroyed entirely by the placement of a entrance and exit to the garage on Pacific. The entire structure is a blight on the city and generally avoided.

Here's how it should look after:

The 7-2 vote in which Evans was in the majority, will make a continuous retail front on Pacific.  Glass windows will be placed on 13th street.  The fronts of the retail spaces will be moved flush with the side of parking garage.  This will take away alot of the isolated scariness from blanks walls ans adar cooridors.

In addition, 30,000 of retail space will be created in the heart of the city, 100 parking spaces and 2 large floors of much needed class A office space.  A better building from every perspective and the ability of a large section of our mainstreet Pacific Avenue to function again.

Thanks Bill!

comments [3]  |  posted under tacoma, washington


by Jake on 12/24/2007 @ 11:15pm
I think it is going to be hard to lease the retail space on Pacific Ave because they are taking out the on-street parking.

by AP on 12/24/2007 @ 11:46pm
These new spaces will just have to cater to tenants who can make their bread on 20 or less clients daily rather than 200. In other words, no more restaurants and coffee shops - I'm talking lawyers, mortgage brokers, artists, etc. The center of a downtown area cannot be a dead zone! That's just poppycock.

by Erik on 12/25/2007 @ 1:26am
I think it is going to be hard to lease the retail space on Pacific Ave because they are taking out the on-street parking.

Dang. You're good Jake, You found one of the few flaws in the design.

The other issue that they are going to have to deal with is the walkway on the north side of the garage. Right now it is not very functional as there are too many hidden spaces for pedestrians to feel comfortable to use the stairs much.

This is right by where entombed escalator is located as well. This needs to be dug out and the staircase opened up.