TDI -- Reporter's Blog

Oct. 4, 2010 at 9:05am

Cascadia RIP

Twenty years ago, a developer purchased 4,200 acres of land near Bonney Lake and set out to build Cascadia -- the largest master-planned community in Pierce County: 6,500 homes, a hotel, three golf courses, seven schools, a fire station, trails, parks, retail village, amphitheater, and discovery center. The developer broke ground on the project in 2005 and expected its first residents to arrive by 2007. 

None of this ever happened. 

The developer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. Two weeks ago, a federal bankruptcy court judge in Seattle ruled the bank could go ahead with an auction. Parcels were auctioned off in the lobby of the County-City building in Tacoma on Sept. 24. More info here and here

What does the biggest residential-commercial development project in Pierce County look like when everyone walks away before it's finished? 

Last week, I drove out to Cascadia to find out. I wrote a feature article about the trip for Friday's edition of the Tacoma Daily Index. The article also includes a dozen photographs I shot during my visit. You can read the story online here (PDF) and here (WEB).

Here is a sample of photos from the story:

I. Boulders like this one, with the company's name and logo, are scattered around the area.

II. The Cascadia Discovery Center, which was set to open in summer 2010, sits unfinished.

III. Those cinnamon rolls look delicious. Too bad Betsy's Coffee Shop will never open.

IV. Even the public art is a casualty of the collapse.

V. White stakes marked "sewer" or "drain" or "storm" are everywhere on the vacant parcels.

comments [10]  |  posted under Cascadia, Pierce County, Tacoma


by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2010 @ 1:34pm
that is some freaky stuff.

by thriceallamerican on 10/4/2010 @ 1:36pm
At least they got to cut some trees down and play around on some earthmovers?

by morgan on 10/4/2010 @ 2:14pm
World's largest skate park?

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2010 @ 2:25pm
ideal place for monster trucks?

by jenyum on 10/4/2010 @ 2:48pm
Excellent place for an airsoft field.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 10/4/2010 @ 3:42pm
Is that a cousin of the Elk's elk?

by KevinFreitas on 10/4/2010 @ 10:35pm
Reminds me of the old Salishan 'hood at the top of the hill there off Portland Ave. Modern relics and reminders of broken promises and broken pasts.

by morgan on 10/5/2010 @ 12:38pm
"Medicinal garden"?

by The Jinxmedic on 10/5/2010 @ 12:42pm
Old Salishan is creepy. The only thing left are streets, sidewalks, and fire hydrants completely overgrown with blackberry bushes and lots of trees and brush. It looks much like a post-apocalyptic movie vision from the 1950's. It's worth a walk.

by Nick on 10/6/2010 @ 8:40am
I suppose on the plus side, it's a few less acres of sprawl in our county .


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