Construction begins in earnest on second major Point Ruston building

Staff writerMarch 28, 2014 

Concrete mixers queued up this week to feed a huge pump that spread wet concrete across the expansive footprint of a building that will become the second major structure erected at Point Ruston near Point Defiance.

What: A multi-story, mixed-use building that will house a parking garage, a 9-screen multiplex movie theater, 90 apartments, 50 condominiums and three other retail tenants.

Theater operator: Texas-based Cinemark Holdings will operate the Century Theater at Point Ruston, the first multi-screen theater built in Tacoma in more than a decade. Cinemark already operates theaters in Federal Way, Olympia and Bellevue in the Puget Sound area.

Theater size: Nine screens, 35,000 square feet.

Theater opening date: April 2015.

Developer: Point Ruston LLC.

Point Ruston history: The 97-acre Point Ruston site was once home to an Asarco copper smelter that used high-arsenic ores from overseas to produce copper and other metals. The smelter closed in the mid-'80s because updating it to meet modern pollution standards was too expensive.

Point Ruston future: Olympia developer Mike Cohen and his backers plan what ultimately will be a $1 billion-plus residential and commercial development on the waterfront site. The first large building on the former copper smelter site, the Copperline Apartments, is now leasing.  Several condominium structures are being erected between those apartments and Commencement Bay. Several expensive view homes have been built on Stack Hill above the main Point Ruston site. That hill was once the site of the smelter's 500-foot-tall smokestack.

Future buildings: The development will next begin building another parking structure topped by a grocery store and other retail uses. Other sites will hold buildings housing offices, restaurants and retail stores. A Silver Cloud Hotel with 175 rooms will be situated next to the development's waterfront walking and biking trail.



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