Top Stories 2014: #10 — Downtown Tacoma convention center hotel development

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tacoma Daily Index is looking back at the 10 most popular and most read articles among visitors to our Web site. Enjoy!

The City of Tacoma in January issued a call for developers to build a 250-room, four-star hotel that would include space for retail and parking on a nearly-two-acre site adjacent to the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center in downtown Tacoma (see “Tacoma seeks developer for downtown hotel near Convention Center,” Tacoma Daily Index, Jan. 22, 2014).

After the bid deadline expired in February, City staff evaluated proposals from five developers — Provenance Hotels; Mortenson Construction; Hollander Investments; American Life Incorporated; and Yareton Investment & Management (see “City Hall News: Downtown Tacoma hotel development, $3.5M Dept. of Ecology grants, and Alder Lake project update,” Tacoma Daily Index, April 11, 2014). In April, Tacoma City Council authorized City Manager T. C. Broadnax to negotiate a development agreement with Yareton Investment & Management.

Seven months later, City officials announced they reached a tentative development agreement for a new four-star, 300-room hotel (see “City reaches tentative agreement for convention center hotel,” Tacoma Daily Index, Nov. 13, 2014). The development is expected to break ground in 2016 (pictured below). According to City staff, Yareton Investment & Management is in the process of submitting development plans for the hotel, and even considering a second phase of the project, which would include approximately 200 residential condominiums, ground floor retail and/or office space, and parking.

“With strong commercial anchors at both ends of Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma — namely the University of Washington Tacoma, museums, and a concentration of restaurants and retail stores — the new hotel will serve as a centerpiece for additional catalytic investment in the downtown core,” said Broadnax in November.

As an aside, the City and the developer released design images of the planned hotel. What is not clear, however, is how often Darth Vader will cruise by the new hotel on his Segway. Every hour? Every half-hour?

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To read a monthly breakdown of the Tacoma Daily Index‘s most read articles of 2014, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index, an award-winning journalist, and author of A Reporter At Large: A decade of Tacoma interviews, feature articles, and photographs. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.