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Tacoma’s Stadium District rising as multiple projects move forward

Rendering of Stadium Apartments, planned for completion in 2018.
Rendering of Stadium Apartments, planned for completion in 2018. Courtesy

In 2018, when tenants begin moving in to a brand-new apartment building soon to rise in Tacoma’s Stadium District, they’ll find a substantially different neighborhood than the one that exists now.

By then the district, long separated from downtown Tacoma by blocks of apartments, will have the eight-story Stadium Apartments, a Bavarian-style beer hall, an improved Wright Park and streets full of construction for an expanded Link light rail line.

STADIUM APARTMENTS

The most visual change to the district in 2018 will be to its skyline.

In May 2018, residents should be moving into a new market rate apartment building at 102 N. G St.

Stadium Apartments will have 172 apartments and 204 parking stalls below grade. It also will feature 2,260 square feet of retail space.

Developer Carino and Associates expects to begin construction in July with foundation work starting in September. The site is now a parking lot.

The units will consist of 76 studio units, ranging in size from 539-768 square feet and renting for $1,255-$1,789 per month; 56 one-bedroom, one-bath units, ranging in size from 609-739 square feet and renting for $1,418 to $1,721 per month; and 40 two-bedroom, two-bath units, ranging in size from 959-1,327 square feet and renting for $2,234 to $3,091 per month.

Those rents reflect the trend in new apartment construction in Tacoma and nationwide, according to research by real estate website Rent Café.

Across the nation, 75 percent of new apartment construction was in the high end, luxury category. In Tacoma, the figure was 83 percent, according to Rent Café.

Carino and Associates opened Thea’s Landing in 2002 and The Henry in 2015 on the Foss Waterway.

Co-owner Scott Carino noted that 75 percent of the units in the Stadium Apartments are studios or one bedrooms, a higher-than-usual percentage.

“We wanted something that was more affordable to the masses of Tacoma. We are targeting medical mile,” Carino said, referring to health care workers spread between Tacoma General Hospital and Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Exterior surfaces of the building will be brick, metal and glass.

As is the trend with Class A apartment buildings, Stadium Apartments will feature a pet park, a community room and a workout room. It won’t have a rooftop deck but instead a covered open air lounge area that would normally house a two-bedroom apartment.

“Two sides will be open,” Carino said. “We’re putting in TVs and a huge fireplace, heaters. It can be pouring down rain and you can go up there and read a book and check out the view.”

About 80 percent of the units will have their own 5- by 12-foot decks.

“Decks aren’t cheap. They average $7,500 a pop,” Carino said. “But here they’re really popular.”

Carino is excited about the location and noted that Tacoma Link will pass in front of the building.

“We searched high and low for that property,” he said.

The Tacoma City Council on Tuesday approved an eight-year property tax exemption for the project. Some citizens spoke against the project at the meeting.

“Another gap in our tax base to drive out lower service sector workers and artists attacks the soul of our neighborhood,” said Stadium resident Philip Lombard.

“Yes it’s important to increase density in the downtown core, that’s just logic, but it’s not reasonable to put rentals in the downtown core that none of us can afford,” said Theresa Power Drutis.

Several of the council members made clear that the city will have no net tax loss during the period as no buildings exist on the site now.

Other neighborhood developments:

RHEIN HAUS

In what was formerly Titus Will Service and Tire there will soon be a Tacoma outpost of Seattle beer hall Rhein Haus.

Construction should start soon at 633 Division Ave., across from the Stadium Apartments site and next to Stadium Thriftway.

The 13,000 square-foot entertainment emporium will combine a spacious beer and dining hall with five bocce ball courts and private party spaces. There also are plans for a small microbrewery specializing in lagers.

Owners are hoping to open this fall, according to Erica Waliser, marketing director for Weimann Maclise Restaurants.

TACOMA LINK

Sometime in 2022, Tacoma Link should be in operation on its 2.4-mile extension through the Stadium District and into the Hilltop.

The extension is in its final design phase. Construction is expected to start in 2017 or 2018.

When completed it will have two stations on North First Street near Stadium Thriftway, one for either direction.

WRIGHT PARK

Wright Park, the green heart of the Stadium District, will see changes of its own.

Home to events such as Shakespeare in the Park and Ethnic Fest, the 27-acre arboretum is known for its more than 600 trees and the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory.

In 2018, work could be underway to increase the size of the conservatory. On April 28, the latest design was revealed that includes a new down-slope domed conservatory. A final design will be displayed at a June open house.

The pedestrian bridge over the pond will be replaced by 2018. Built sometime between 1890 and 1930, the existing bridge is 56 feet long and is closed because of safety concerns.

Metro Parks Tacoma staff members are putting the arboretum back in Wright Park. A new champion tree tour, with a booklet, of about 20 trees holding state records for size will soon be available. More than 440 signs on all trees of 6 inches in diameter or greater have been installed, giving the tree’s scientific name, common name, origin and approximate year planted.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor

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