Tacoma Urbanist

Mar. 29, 2010 at 12:54am

"Unleaseable" UWT Space Now Leased to University Gyro House

University Gyro House to Lease UWT Space and serve Liquor

For many months, Tacomans have been told that the UWT space on Pacific Avenue was unleaseable and that the "market" simply could not support retail on Pacific Avenue.

Nice to see that the space in William W. Philip Hall building has been leased after all. This is good news.

Now Tacomans will look forward to the nearby Joy Building being renovated and the retail spaces being leased out. 

 

comments [37]  |  posted under tacoma

Comments

by L.S.Erhardt on 3/29/2010 @ 1:15am
Gyros and beer?

The Red Hot better watch out, competition is coming to town!

by Erik on 3/29/2010 @ 1:17am
"The Red Hot better watch out, competition is coming to town!"

Yep. This could add a lot of synergey on Pacific Avenue.

by L.S.Erhardt on 3/29/2010 @ 1:35am
Now if only we could get a vegetarian restaurant down there. That'd make my life a little easier.

by fredo on 3/29/2010 @ 6:57am
Thanks for calling this to our attention, Erik.

This is a baby step. We could encourage more development such as this and such as Thorax is requesting by removing proceedural and economic barriers to business formation. The most onerous barriers are the b&o tax, the minimum wage and the personal property tax. Remove these 3 barriers and Tacoma would witness an unbelievable rebirth.

But good luck to the University Gyro Shop.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/29/2010 @ 7:55am
Forbes Magazine, hardly a communist screed, ranks Washington State as the second best place to do business in America. Perhaps if you can't make money in Washington your business model needs tweaking.

by fredo on 3/29/2010 @ 8:31am
Well if this is the second best place to do business then all those hundreds of "commercial space for lease" signs around town must be an optical illusion.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/29/2010 @ 8:38am
Looks like fredo is waiting for that new bakery to open called "Have one's cake and eat it too".

by Jesse on 3/29/2010 @ 8:46am
Maybe if you have a business model that relies on paying below minimum wage, you need to rethink it and take another look-see at all those conservative "morals" you have.


by Mofo from the Hood on 3/29/2010 @ 8:51am
Well I'm not so sure that more businesses near the UWT campus is a good thing, unless you're a Maoist. As you all may know, the City is on a mission to establish subsistence farming in Tacoma. Recently the Mayor announced that she wants to lead Tacoma into a new agricultural revolution, and steps have been taken to establish seven more community garden plots which will serve to define Tacoma as the nation's leading garden city.

by fredo on 3/29/2010 @ 9:04am
"maybe if you have a business model that relies on paying below minimum wage you need to rethink it" jesse

No one posted in favor of paying less than the minimum wage.


by Erik on 3/29/2010 @ 9:12am
This is a baby step.

Yeah a ctitical test for the area around the UWT. It shows that having adjacent businesses build synergy. One of the problems with downtown Tacoma is that it is pocked with so many holes that it is hard to get any momentum going. Many of the businesses that do function are like remote islands.

We could encourage more development such as this and such as Thorax is requesting by removing proceedural and economic barriers to business formation.

Yeah, according to Amocat Cafe, it costs $600 for a health department permit.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/29/2010 @ 9:27am
$600 seems like a small price to pay to assure the customers of Amocat Cafe don't end up with food poisoning or worse.

by fredo on 3/29/2010 @ 9:34am
$600 seems like a small price to pay to assure the customers don't end up with food poisoning"

Agreed. Unfortunately the $600 payment will not assure that customers don't end up with food poisoning. Nor is it the only proceedural expense for opening a coffee shop in Pierce County.

by Mofo from the Hood on 3/29/2010 @ 9:46am
I thought the idea behind the UWT retail storefront planning was that private enterprises would provide basic services, such a food, for the campus community.

The strip of Pacific Ave retail spaces that fronts the campus has access to a captive clientele of students that should drive that economic zone and generate momentum beyond the campus borders.


by Mofo from the Hood on 3/29/2010 @ 10:10am
Private business minded people better make their move now to set up shop, because there's a lot open grassland above the UWT campus, namely Fawcett ST., and nearby surrounding blocks too. All that open land could just as easily be landscaped into terraced gardens, government owned and community tilled.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/29/2010 @ 10:14am
Mofo, do you suggest we start learning some of the old slave songs?

by Amocat Cafe on 3/29/2010 @ 10:19am
Beer or booze? That is the question.

The $600 is not for protecting the public against foor poisening - the fee is for the health department to process paperwork. And it does not matter how small or large the business - one flat rate for all. Crazy.

By the way, modern milk - which is used to make espreso drinks - is so inert, one would have to work pretty hard to get sick from it.

by Mofo from the Hood on 3/29/2010 @ 10:31am
Amocat Cafe, you might want to ask the City about converting South Fawcett ST into grazing pasture for City owned dairy cows. It would easy and convenient for local coolie-Americans to walk a cow over to your shop every morning.

by L.S.Erhardt on 3/29/2010 @ 10:35am
I'm a BIG fan of a reformed permitting process. A less-expensive and quicker turnaround time permitting process would only serve to encourage business. And in the case of development, it is a tool that can be used quite effectively. If it is decided that higher density is wanted, for example, projects that meet that desire could be pushed through permitting at a discount and at a much faster rate to "reward" developers for building what we want.

Same with businesses. If we want food & retail in downtown, make it as fast and as painless as possible for those types of business to get permitted.
You see, permitting doesn't have to be an awkward 70-lb sledgehammer. It can be a tool used as deftly as a scalpel... by someone who understands how to use it.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/29/2010 @ 10:59am
Well, if that $600 doesn't include some sort of regular inspection I'm against it. Just to be able to ding a new business for an easy 600 clams is something we should all be against. These fees charged businesses should be meaningful, not just sources of easy money for government. Just because they can charge it doesn't make it right.

by NineInchNachos on 3/29/2010 @ 11:20am
IT'S A TRAP!

by Mofo from the Hood on 3/29/2010 @ 11:36am
One way to attract a wider range of new businesses to the UWT storefronts and keep costs down for business start-ups is to make shop space available at under 1500 sq. ft. The costs savings could be measured in terms of rent, heat, electricity, insurance and even advertising if a number of complementary businesses located within easy walking distance between each storefront.

The zone has been established. But it's been a continuous battle of words from long-time district shopkeepers and supporters against UWT claims that there is no demand for retail storefront leases.

It's the finality of that rhetoric that's discouraging and Tacoman's have been listening to echoes of that tone for a long time regarding other areas of downtown.

by Jesse on 3/29/2010 @ 7:17pm
"The most onerous barriers are the b&o tax, the minimum wage and the personal property tax. Remove these 3 barriers and Tacoma would witness an unbelievable rebirth." - Fredo

You actually did state that the minimum wage was too high. That statement says you agree there needs to be a market that allows paying below the minimum wage standards, no? Not to have an off topic pissing match or anything.

by Jesse on 3/29/2010 @ 7:21pm
"Private business minded people better make their move now to set up shop, because there's a lot open grassland above the UWT campus, namely Fawcett ST., and nearby surrounding blocks too. All that open land could just as easily be landscaped into terraced gardens, government owned and community tilled." -- Mofo

Yes! Use the land for something useful. Have a storefront in the new Joy Building sell the crops wares... or something. That land above UWT is a blight and a waste of high exposure land that could easily be converted into an asset of some sort for Tacoma.

by Erik on 3/29/2010 @ 7:33pm
That land above UWT is a blight and a waste of high exposure land that could easily be converted into an asset of some sort for Tacoma.

I agree. The land should be sold off and be used for something that could add density and some life to the city.

by dolly varden on 3/29/2010 @ 9:09pm
Falafel?!?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/29/2010 @ 9:31pm
Falafel?!?, nope I'm feeling pretty good these days.

by fredo on 3/29/2010 @ 9:51pm
Jesse, I recommended removing the minimum wage law, I didn't recommend violation of the minimum wage law. Removing the law would allow employers to pay the amount for employees that they deemed prudent and necessary. Paying less than minimum wage would be illegal. I don't recommend that.

by Altered Chords on 3/30/2010 @ 8:55am
Who is Nizar LLC and how would a vendor contact them at least 3 weeks prior to opening?

Also, What happened to Club Coconut on Pacific? They applied for a liquor lic. and I thought they opened for lunch and now poof - it's a completed restaurant for sale.

by L.S.Erhardt on 3/30/2010 @ 9:25am
Welcome to the next economic bubble: flipping restaurants

by Altered Chords on 3/30/2010 @ 10:34am
Thorax - you are a genius!

Everything is a commodity - including restaurants!

by L.S.Erhardt on 3/31/2010 @ 12:05am
Just wait until I star flipping blogs.

Get a few TO'T posts, readership goes up, and then sell to Google or Microsoft.
PROFIT.

by Erik on 3/31/2010 @ 1:10am
The Tribune reads Feed Tacoma and has picked up on the story:


The University of Washington Tacoma is in talks with a potential tenant who wants to open a restaurant on Pacific Avenue next door to a Subway restaurant and a local bookstore.

The school wouldn’t confirm the name of the tenant on Tuesday, but the state liquor board posted notice recently on the door of 1914 Pacific Ave. that University Gyro House had applied for a license to sell beer there.

The 1,400-square-foot retail bay is on the ground floor of the William W. Philip Assembly Hall, which opened in September 2008. It’s one of two retail bays in the school-owned building. The other is leased by Meta Books, which opened in November 2008.



www.thenewstribune.com/2010/03/31/112980...

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 7/6/2010 @ 10:43pm
Has this place opened up yet. I go by there all the time but I haven't noticed anything going on at that location.

by Nick on 7/7/2010 @ 2:20pm
Perhaps we are watching the lengthy and expensive permitting process at work?

by izenmania on 7/7/2010 @ 4:40pm
What Nick said. The sign on the door still says that the application is pending. My best bet is that the Now Leasing sign is still up so UWT can keep their options open, in case the permit doesn't go through.

by Altered Chords on 7/7/2010 @ 4:57pm
Crenshaw - your new avatar will give me nightmares tonight. Thanks buddy.