Downtown Tacoma BIA contract up for annual renewal

Tacoma City Council is tentatively scheduled later this month to hear the first reading of an ordinance that would renew the City of Tacoma’s agreement with the Business Improvement Area (BIA) to provide a variety of services in Tacoma’s primary commercial area.

The BIA is funded through a self-imposed assessment of property owners within an 84-block area that runs from South 7th Street to South 21st Street and ‘A’ Street west to Court ‘D.’ The BIA, which was established in 1988, provides common services for property owners and is an advocate for the general economic well being of downtown property owners. It provides services such as security patrols on bicycles; support for the Tacoma Police Department; coordination of downtown security officers; an e-mail alert system for downtown property owners and managers; pressure washing, sweeping, and cleaning of sidewalks and other common areas; installation of street banners; graffiti removal; providing timely information for potential investors; and overseeing Web sites and regular print publications that promote downtown Tacoma.

Last month, Tacoma City Council approved a resolution to hold a public hearing on Tues., March 18, to consider expanding the BIA’s boundaries to include the future McMenamin’s Elks Lodge brewery and hotel. According to City of Tacoma staff, McMenamin’s, which owns four parcels of land (most notably, the former Elks Lodge at 565 Broadway) within the proposed expansion area, has asked to participate in the downtown Tacoma BIA.

Also BIA-related, Tacoma Daily Index editor Todd Matthews joined BIA bike patrol officers on an overnight ride-along as they patrolled downtown Tacoma. He wrote a feature article about the experience for the newspaper.

Councilmembers are tentatively scheduled to hear the first reading of an ordinance — which would continue the BIA for the 27th year; provide for the levy of assessments and other projected income in the amount of $826,364; and approve the seventh year of the renewed BIA work plan, budget, and assessment rates — during their meeting on Tues., March 18, at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 747 Market Street, First Floor. The meeting will be broadcast live on tvtacoma.com.

Downtown Tacoma BIA bike patrol officers Sarah Kirkman and John Leitheiser carefully make their way beneath I-705. They regularly inspect the area for homeless encampments. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

Downtown Tacoma BIA bike patrol officers Sarah Kirkman and John Leitheiser carefully make their way beneath I-705. They regularly inspect the area for homeless encampments. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of downtown Tacoma’s Business Improvement Area, click on the following links: