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Tacoma’s Brewery District

Aug 18, 2010
Tacoma’s Brewery District

Back in March, our resident Urban Planner, Kate Howe, wrote a great blog post that gave an overview of Tacoma’s Brewery District. She talked about some of the background of Tacoma and includes brief information on the study that we recently completed for them.

The Brewery District Development Concept Study aims to provide an actionable framework to transform this downtown Tacoma warehouse district into a sustainable neighborhood based on the adaptive re-use of historic buildings, local creative production, and a population mix of students, artists, and local workforce. This will be achieved via a series of progressive interventions, from the temporary and small scale to larger scaled public/private redevelopments. Implementation strategies are focused on both placemaking + activated uses.

One result of the study, completed in April 2010, includes the introduction of spaceworks tacoma. A joint initiative with the City of Tacoma, Shunpike, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, spaceworks is “designed to activate empty storefronts in downtown Tacoma with art and creative enterprise.”

Once property owners offer up their empty retail locations, Shunpike works with participants to “transform them into dynamic points of interest with creative energy and artistic enterprise.” An article in The News Tribune says that property owners are hoping that businesses that use the temporary space will potentially turn into full-fledged businesses.

In addition to spaceworks, there has also been lively interest in the Study’s two identified catalyst opportunity projects which were identified as follows:

  • A 1905 City Shops and Stables (24,000 SQFT) and Municipal Storehouse Complex (27,000 SQFT) for adaptive re-use to a public market, vending stalls, brewery and mixed residential and creative uses. The future uses have been selected to help to create a nodal supplement to the UWT campus just to the north of the neighborhood and re-establish the real estate market. New street designs complement the BNSF Prairie Line rail conversion to a multi-purpose trail connecting the Brewery District to the waterfront.
  • A 5-acre parcel of city-owned, underutilized land adjacent to the University of Washington is envisioned to develop in a public/private partnership with ancillary student support services and housing. Several development concept studies of Catalyst Site B tested amenities and future connections for a minimum baseline residential capacity of 528 residential units and 100,000 SF of retail space up to 1,200 units and 100,000 SQFT of commercial space.

Here are some more renderings that are a result of the study:


For more up-to-date information on the spaceworks tacoma program, check out their blog here.

One Comment

  1. great idea – lovely presentation…..

    MR.