Commerce grants $90K for Thea Foss Waterway redevelopment
State Brownfields fund to help Tacoma develop final three parcels for sale.
OLYMPIA, WA –Finishing development of Tacoma’s Thea-Foss Waterway received a boost with a $90,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce. The funding will enable Tacoma to prepare most of the remaining parcels for sale.
The Thea-Foss Waterway Development Authority District consists of 17 parcels, covering 30 acres of waterfront property. These properties have been used for plywood plants, warehouses and the city’s steam plant. Past industrial uses left environmental hazards that are now being cleaned-up.
Nearly two-thirds of the district has been developed. Six sites remain. These sites are designated brownfields: properties where real or perceived environmental contamination hinders their use, sale or re-use. The Commerce Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grant will pave the way for developing the largest, remaining parcels.
Today the district consists of 600 residential units completed and under construction. Additionally, cultural institutions, such as the Museum of Glass and Foss Waterway Seaport, provide art and marine science education opportunities. An office building and five restaurants have contributed new jobs to the area. Two parks and a waterfront esplanade create active public spaces for events and recreation.
Thea-Foss Waterway Development Authority sees these three parcels as the future site of a commercial office building or a mix of commercial and residential uses. Enhanced pedestrian connections exist that connect the area to downtown Tacoma.
The Development Authority will conduct a market study of the best use of the property and how to finance it. The resulting “Offer Memorandum” will be used to solicit proposals from private developers willing to design, finance, build, operate, maintain and purchase the property.
“The Foss is quickly becoming a popular place to live and play. This grant will help make it a great place to work as well. The development of these three sites will bring jobs and active living to this section of the waterway,” explains Su Dowie, Executive Director of the Thea-Foss Waterway Development Authority.
Thea-Foss Waterway Development Authority (TFWDA) is a public corporation created by the City of Tacoma in 1996. It manages the redevelopment of the Waterway properties.
Commerce’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund was created 15 years ago with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help local and regional governments, nonprofit agencies and private entities clean up and redevelop brownfields sites.