Tacoma, WA

Tacoma, Washington:
Leveraging existing and future assets to attract investment along the Martin Luther King Jr. corridor (aka the “Medical Mile”)

Tacoma’s Medical Mile is a downtown corridor bordered by two of the oldest residential and commercial areas – the Stadium neighborhood to the north, and the Hilltop neighborhood along the south.  Nearly 1,000 housing units have been built in these areas accompanied by substantial investment from two major health care providers located at both ends of the corridor (a third medical clinic is under construction midway between the two hospitals).

The study area has a large stock of older commercial and residential structures that offer opportunities for authentic neighborhood redevelopment complemented by large scale investments.  Over the last ten years, extensive community outreach and planning has occurred, resulting in significant growth opportunities. Public and private investment continues to occur in the area with the potential to extend light rail service to this corridor by the Sound Transit, the regional transit authority.  A number of alternative routes are under consideration with a decision on a preferred route in 2013.

The City of Tacoma and private landowners control key properties in the area. Attracting and sustaining major private investment outside of the hospital systems has been difficult. Development plans for these properties are in the conceptual design stage offering investment and development opportunities for a wide range of land uses and development configurations.

The City of Tacoma seeks input on how best to leverage existing assets that will attract investment along the Medical Mile.

Opportunities:

  • Significant investment by health care sector occurring
  • Contemplated light rail investment
  • Mixed-use zoning in place and programmatic EIS underway
  • Parks, schools and other public amenities in place
  • New residential and mixed-use development
  • Authentic character and neighborhood pride

Challenges:

  • Perceptions of disinvestment
  • Neighborhood concern regarding health care sector growth
  • Connectivity within study area
  • Sustainable private sector growth

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