KFnet in T-Town

Apr. 9, 2008 at 6:49am

It Just Wouldn't Be Tacoma Without...

Maybe the guy that drew those depressing napkin sketches was more right than we know. That shiny, new plaza/strip mall type area at the southwest corner of 38th and Pacific is done enough that the standard Tacoma fair has already moved on in.

Toss in a pay-day loaner and there will be no further need to fill out any of those other listed slots on that sign. C'mon, really? This new development looks decent with it's peaked roofs and partially detached layout but doesn't serve well to nurture a sustainable community there. I'd like to believe that if a corner development like this has a couple floors of residential on top we'd get more than just this kind of junk filling the ground level. Maybe a nice bakery would show up or a pub? A UPS store with post office boxes or maybe a pet groomer. The kinds of businesses that support people living in the immediate vicinity rather than those that just urge you to stop by on your way elsewhere.

My challenge to the City is to damn all convention and require the next five such developments go mixed use. Load 'em up with incentives Russell-style and see what that sort of activity will do for our neighborhoods. I dare you.

comments [7]  |  posted under strip malls, tacoma, teriyaki

Comments

by jenyum on 4/9/2008 @ 7:37am
Definitely a bit depressing, especially since if you head down 38th street in the direction of the mall you'll be on one of the most interesting streets in Tacoma. Fortunately, the Lincoln district has a lot of things going for it, with or without this development, but it would be nice if the gateway to the neighborhood would reflect its character even a little.

by izenmania on 4/9/2008 @ 8:24am
Also missing a "Smoke & Grocery" shop. And possibly a Dollar Store.

by billb on 4/9/2008 @ 8:36am
how about a used book store with a cat that sits in the window

by Jake on 4/9/2008 @ 8:54am
A Forza was supposed to go in there.

by NineInchNachos on 4/9/2008 @ 8:57am
those napkin sketches are dang funny how did I miss those?

strip malls do nothing to help tacoma, well they help make tacoma more depressing.

mystery artist

by morgan on 4/9/2008 @ 9:24am
How depressing!

The single greatest thing the city can do to help encourage the type of development we would like to see is to get more aggressive in building individual and community wealth. Only by changing baseline demographics (more people with more money) will Tacoma be rise above the smoke shop/dollar store/payday loan strip mall.

by KevinFreitas on 4/9/2008 @ 9:30am
@NiN: The sketches really were gems. Kinda' right on though, unfortunately.

@morgan: I agree that individual wealth will help but I imagine some mixed-used buildings/developments having reasonable rents or purchase costs that would help nonetheless. I think meeting somewhere in the middle with solidifying services and opportunities for individuals then offering live/work options that take away needs like cars and commutes would be key. Without a certain level of density I fear the city's resources are just geographically being spread too thin.

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Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.

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