Tacoma could spend $4M to purchase historic Old City Hall

The City of Tacoma is considering whether to purchase the five-story, 122-year-old Old City Hall building in downtown Tacoma, City officials announced Thursday.

If a resolution is approved by Tacoma City Council next week, the City would acquire the building, located at 625 Commerce St., from Seattle-based The Stratford Co. for $4 million (plus closing costs), address the structure’s deteriorating condition, preserve its historic elements, and market the property for future development.

Old City Hall was built in 1893 and originally included the offices of the mayor and city council, municipal court, public library, and public utilities. It was then renovated in 1974 for commercial office use with some ground floor retail use, and sold in 2005 with plans for conversion to residential use. Those plans did not materialize and the building has been vacant for a number of years, suffering from neglect, flooding, and other damage, according to City officials.

“We’ve been working on this solution for almost a year, so I’m glad to see it come forward to the full Council for approval,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “Gaining control of this beautiful historic icon allows us to properly preserve and market it for use in the near future.”

“Old City Hall, which served as the hub of our local government for 66 years, is currently in a state of disrepair, and addressing that will help enhance Tacoma’s economic development efforts,” added Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution during a public meeting at 5 p.m on Tues., June 2, at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the resolution, staff memo, and area map are available online here and here and here, respectively.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Old City Hall, click on the following links: