Construction firm buys Tacoma's Swan Creek Library

Earlier sale to company that planned a day care falls through, but this one brings Tacoma $29,000 more

Staff writerJanuary 17, 2014 

The former Swan Creek Library branch in Tacoma has been sold for the second time.

The Tacoma City Council unanimously approved the sale this month to a Renton construction firm. Advanced Technology Construction will pay $120,000 for the property.

The construction firm, with 49 full-time employees and a $4 million payroll, will move its headquarters to be closer to its clients at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and in Bremerton. About one-third of the company’s employees are veterans, said owner Dennis Farrow.

“They happen to be very well-qualified,” Farrow said of his veteran employees, who typically have a “great work ethic.”

Farrow said the company started its search for a new location six months ago and plans to move into the old library on East Portland Avenue before the end of March.

Advanced Technology Construction specializes in building data centers, industrial facilities and clean rooms for low-contamination parts manufacturing, Farrow said. A number of his employees already live in Tacoma, and he also plans to move here after he sells his current home.

“We are coming in with great employees and a great commitment to the community,” Farrow said.

ATC is the second company that has tried to buy the former Swan Creek Library, which was closed, along with the Martin Luther King Jr. branch at 19th and Cedar streets, in 2011 amid sweeping budget cuts.

In early 2013, the council approved the sale of the property to LLC, which planned to turn the old library into a day care center. Owned by local businessman Darren Gill, LLC was to pay $91,000. But Gill was unable to get financing to buy the building, and an April deadline passed. A second deadline in September also came and went.

While the city had the library appraised for $400,000 in 2012, the building also has roughly $455,000 in deferred maintenance.

Property brokers will split a $7,200 commission for the sale of the property.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542

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