Downtown Tacoma hill climb renovation under way

Demolition is under way to make room for a renovation of the 12th Street hill climb connecting Pacific Avenue to Commerce Street. On Friday, contractors were busy clearing the passageway. The open space on the right was once entry to the Escalade, a moving sidewalk that helped shoppers travel downtown Tacoma’s hillside shopping district.

In April, Tacoma City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee approved a do-pass recommendation to direct $358,000 toward redesigning the 12th Street hill climb between Pacific Avenue and Commerce Street. The money would come from existing Real Estate Excise Tax revenue and re-appropriating funds from the North Park Plaza garage to the Pacific Plaza garage.

According to the developer, Pacific Plaza Management LLC, the new hill climb design will create a “screen” for the loading dock and freight elevator; provide a central area with tables and chairs that could be used for restaurant seating; and remove the existing zig-zag pattern of stairs in order to create a “straight shot” between Pacific Avenue and Commerce Street.

The hill climb is part of an overall $40 million renovation of Park Plaza South, the decades-old and crumbling five-story parking garage located near South 13th and Commerce streets.

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