Real Estate News

Work halts at apartment project next to Tacoma library. Here’s why

$40 million, 7-story apartment complex to break ground next to downtown Tacoma library

"This development … will turn an underutilized City of Tacoma parking lot into a thriving community for approximately 300 people, with 34 affordable units and ground-level retail amenities," says mayor Marilyn Strickland.
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"This development … will turn an underutilized City of Tacoma parking lot into a thriving community for approximately 300 people, with 34 affordable units and ground-level retail amenities," says mayor Marilyn Strickland.

Construction on a $40 million, seven-story apartment building next to the downtown branch of the Tacoma library is on hold as the developer completes another project in its home country.

The Hailey Apartment development, a mixed-use project at 1210 Tacoma Ave. S., started construction late last year.

The developer is the Vietnamese company HQC USA LLC. Its parent company has a prior commitment to complete a housing project in Vietnam, said Elly Walkowiak, assistant director with the city’s Economic Development Department.

“It’s basically focusing their resources to finish their prior obligation in Vietnam, and a cash-flow issue to then flow the capital here to the United States,” Walkowiak said.

HQC Director Peter Truong did not return requests this week for comment about the project.

Last year, he called Tacoma “attractive in terms of employment opportunities and housing value appreciation.”

An agreement between the city and the developer says the building could open by 2019. Walkowiak said work will continue on the site two to three months from now.

No construction workers were on the site during a brief visit this week.

The property was once a city-owned parking lot. In its place HQC plans a building with ground-floor retail and 166 apartments. The project will include at least 150 parking spots with 34 for use by library patrons.

HQC is not using a program called EB-5 for financing. With the federally sanctioned program companies borrow money from well-heeled foreign investors in exchange for a green card. HQC has said it intends to fully finance the Hailey Apartment project on its own.

Nationally, apartment construction is at the highest level as it’s been in 20 years.

Kate Martin: kmartin@thenewstribune.com, @KateReports
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