If there is a mantra that describes hotel development in the Tacoma area in the 21st century, it would be, “Many were planned, but few were built.”
For years developers have created impressive drawings of multistory edifices planned for downtown and waterfront sites, but with the exception of the Holiday Inn Express near the University of Washington Tacoma, none was built.
That finally could be changing.
Four major hotel projects could create more than 500 new hotel rooms in Tacoma.
Three of those four projects have been on the drawing boards for years. One, the largest of the four, is a relative newcomer on the Tacoma hotel scene.
Here’s the latest on those projects:• The Foss Waterway hotel. The project, along the west side of the Thea Foss Waterway, would occupy a site between the Esplanade condominiums and the Thea’s Landing apartments. Developer Mark Hollander told The News Tribune earlier this year that construction on the 104-room Marriott Residence Inn could begin by early summer. The hotel project already has two crucial permits, its shoreline permit and its building permit, in hand.
• McMenamins. This Oregon hotel company is moving forward with plans to raise funds to remake the former Elks Temple downtown into an entertainment venue and boutique hotel. The hotel would include some 25 rooms as well as a brewpub, a performance venue, restaurants and meeting rooms. The company plans to create a website of the project this summer and begin seeking investors for the $22 million project this fall. Construction could begin in February of 2016 with completion a year later.
• Silver Cloud Hotel Point Ruston. This U-shaped, 180-room hotel will have water views from 80 percent of its rooms, said Silver Cloud Chief Executive James Korbein. The hotel will be a centerpiece of the $1.2 billion Point Ruston development on the former Asarco copper smelter site. Architects are developing hotel plans with a planned grand opening in the spring of 2017, said Korbein.
• Tacoma Convention Center Hotel. A China-based hotel company has gathered a development team to create detailed plans for the 300-room hotel adjacent to the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center downtown. That team has met twice with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to draw plans compatible with the adjacent Union Station Conservation District. If the overseas funding raising for the 24-story hotel is completed on schedule, the hotel could open in late 2018.