Port of Tacoma to raze 10 structures on 9-acre tide flats site

The Port of Tacoma Commission Thursday authorized staff to move ahead on a plan to demolish 10 structures on a nearly nine-acre site on Tacoma’s tide flats to make way for future Port operations.

The properties, located near the intersection of East 11th Street and Taylor Way, were acquired by the Port of Tacoma over the past two decades, according to Jan Shawyer, an engineering project manager at the Port. Earlier this year, commissioners authorized $150,000 to be spent on design work related to the project; the Port has spent approximately $84,000 so far. Six buildings slated for demolition contain lead paint contamination and will require hazardous materials abatement measures. The demolition will also remove four storage tanks.

On Thursday, commissioners authorized spending $700,000 to complete the demolition. The Port of Tacoma has set aside $929,000 from its Capital Improvement Plan to pay for the project. The Port is tentatively scheduled to put the project out for bid next week, award a contract by the end of next month, and see the project completed in February. The site could then be used to store equipment and vehicles, or marketed for other uses, according to Shawyer.

Two buildings marked for demolition include the former offices of Hercules Heavy Hauling and Tacoma Municipal Railway, located at 1123 Taylor Way, and the former Bob’s Pier restaurant, located at 3320 E. 11th St.

The former Tacoma Fire Station No. 15, located at 3510 E. 11th St. and near the demolition site, is not one of the buildings to be razed. The City-owned, one-story Mediterranean-style structure has some measure of protection because it is listed on the City of Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places, the Washington Heritage Register, and the National Register of Historic Places.

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengerssecond-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State; third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; and third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright. His work has appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.