City Council vote ahead for historic Hilltop properties sale, development plan

Tacoma City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution to sell two city-owned historic buildings as part of a development proposal that would bring housing, commercial, and retail spaces to a busy corner of Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

According to documents prepared by City of Tacoma staff, the half-acre, city-owned properties, which include four parcels (1110, 1114, 1120 and 1124 Martin Luther King Jr. Way), could be sold for $100,000 to a development partnership that includes Tacoma Housing Authority and MLK Rehab. The partnership has proposed turning the four parcels into high-quality market-rate and subsidized housing with street-level commercial and retail spaces.

The MLK Rehab project will preserve the two historic buildings — the Pochert Building, located at 1110 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and the Kellogg-Sicker Building, located at 1114 Martin Luther King Jr. Way — and redevelop them for market-rate housing on the upper floors and retail spaces on the ground floor. Construction would begin this year and be completed late next year. Last month, Tacoma City Council approved a resolution placing the two buildings on the city’s register of historic places. The Kellogg-Sicker Building and the Pochert Building date back to 1906 and 1904, respectively, and were designed by pioneer Tacoma architect Carl August Darmer. Both buildings, which sit vacant today, were purchased by the City of Tacoma in 2005.

Additionally, Tacoma Housing Authority plans to develop the remaining two parcels located at 1120 and 1124 Martin Luther King Jr. Way — as new construction of three to five floors and about 40 to 50 units of workforce affordable housing, according to city staff. Construction would begin in 2016.

The parcels were appraised by Puget Sound Appraisal in May.

Tacoma City Council’s Economic Development Committee discussed the plan during a meeting last month. Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution during its meeting on Tues., Aug. 13 at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 747 Market Street, First Floor, in Tacoma. Meetings are streamed live online at and broadcast live on TV Tacoma. The agenda and meeting materials are available online here.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Kellogg‐Sicker Building and Pochert Building landmark nominations, click on the following links: