6th Avenue – it connects and defines us

Not many cities have a street like Tacoma’s 6th Avenue…

By Morf Morford

Tacoma Daily Index

Not many cities have a street like Tacoma’s 6th Avenue.

Stretching essentially from waterway (Commencement Bay in the east) to waterway (South Puget Sound to the west) 6th Avenue unites, defines and divides the city like no other street.

6th Avenue has seen more than its share of changes over the past year or so – and has many more to come. From one end to the other, the familiar face of 6th Avenue is shifting in ways, and at a pace, remarkable for any city or avenue.

Here are just a few of the most visible changes.

What had been a sushi place at 6th and Alder is now an “apartment community” featuring rooftop social spaces, underground parking and even an on-site dog wash.

And yes, Trapper’s Sushi is returning.

It is all opening soon.

You can see more about the development and the immediate neighborhood here: https://www.sixthandalderapts.com/.

Further west along 6th Avenue, just past Orchard, is the long abandoned K-Mart building.

This prime piece of real estate, a touch over ten acres, has been the topic of conversation for years with everything from emergency housing to medical facility as its latest incarnation.

Berkadia, a California based company, is currently the exclusive agent for this property and has projected it as a site for 408 garden-style apartments. These, on such a large site, would be spread across 17 three-story buildings with 24 units each.

Many of these apartments will hold views of either Mt. Rainier or Puget Sound and will have immediate access to both Highway 16 and the nearby attractions of the greater 6th Avenue district.

Further down 6th Avenue, at the very end of 6th Avenue in fact, sits a Tacoma landmark; Steamers.

Steamers, long a fixture for those fans of casual/affordable eating in the seafood direction (and renowned for the crunch of its panko-breaded cod and its beer-battered halibut) is closing for good as of mid-April.

We might see Steamers somewhere else on the Tacoma landscape. They are looking for a new location, preferably waterfront.

Steamers will be the last of its kind on Tacoma’s “other waterfront”.

The site itself has been rezoned for single-family residential.

The end of 6th Avenue has gone through many changes. Years ago it was the ferry terminal (before the construction of the Narrows Bridge in 1940) and only link to what we now call the Gig Harbor Peninsula.

You can see the deteriorating pilings from the ferry – plus a few volunteer cormorants and sometimes even a few artistic contributions from Tacoma’s unofficial art community.

You can also see the most stunning sunsets in the area.

The adjacent park has also been going through many changes.

Long one of the most neglected and least used parks, Titlow (and especially the Hidden Beach area) have been off the radar – if not inaccessible for most park users for years.

Thanks to clean-up and many improvements more of the park is accessible (you can see a profile of the hikes here – https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/titlow-park).

I’ll certainly miss Steamers, but the park itself will remain a stunning jewel drenched in beauty and history.


If you are new to the area, or have not yet experienced the unique atmosphere of Tacoma’s 6th Avenue, you might take a look at our previous profile of this unique street here – https://www.tacomadailyindex.com/blog/more-to-6th-avenue-than-meets-the-eye/2441320/