Apartments near Tacoma's Scott Pierson Trail in early planning stages, city documents show

Tacoma News TribuneMay 6, 2014 

A proposed apartment complex near Highway 16 and Orchard Street would bring about 120 new units, though it is in the very early stages of development.

John Wise, who also is one of the developers of downtown Tacoma's The Metropolitan, has put in an application with the City of Tacoma to change the site's zoning for such a development.

Wise couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The 5.4-acre site is located just north of South 19th Street, sandwiched between the Highway 16 on-ramp and Orchard Street. Right now the area is partially wooded and hilly.

That the site needs to be rezoned from single-family housing to low-density multi-family is just one indication of how preliminary the plans are. The property still is owned by the Unitarian Church of Tacoma, and any project also will need further environmental and traffic approval. A preliminary soil test submitted to the city shows cleanup will be needed for arsenic -- the area is within the Asarco plume.

According to the land-use application, the apartment complex would be about 13 buildings and have 120 units of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The apartments would be "middle income units," the application says. The complex could have gated access for walkers and bikers to the Scott Pierson Trail, which runs south and west of the site.

Early plans show the apartments would be accessed from Orchard Street, through yet another undeveloped plot of land that is owned by a third party. If all other hurdles are overcome, the developer proposes adding a left-turn lane on Orchard to make traffic backups less of a problem.

A public hearing on the re-zoning proposal is scheduled for July 17, 9 a.m., at the Council Chambers inside the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St.

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