Former McKinley Hill Tacoma police station for sale again

A former Tacoma police station once slated to become the new headquarters for a downtown Tacoma office supply company is back on the market.

The 6,500-square-foot building, located at 3524 McKinley Avenue East on 26,000-square-feet of land in the McKinley Hill Business District, was declared surplus property in January of 2013, three years after the Tacoma Police Department’s Sector Four Substation relocated to a new facility in the city’s Stewart Heights neighborhood.

The City spent six months last year marketing the property for sale, while also meeting with members of the Eastside Neighborhood Advisory Council and the Dome Top Neighborhood Alliance to discuss how new ownership could best serve the neighborhood. In October, the neighborhood groups formally recommended selling the property to Chuckals Office Products President and CEO Alan Lynden. Later that month, Tacoma City Council authorized City staff to enter into a purchase and sale agreement based on Lynden’s $285,000 offer. The move allowed Lynden to complete the due diligence on the property before a final purchasing decision was made. If the purchase was completed, Lynden expected to complete some remodeling and move to the new location in April.

At the time, Lynden was optimistic about purchasing the property and relocating his businesses from space it leases at 2209 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma. “We like that location for a couple reasons,” Lynden told the Tacoma Daily Index in October. “It’s in an up-and-coming neighborhood and we want to invest in a neighborhood that’s going to grow. Number two, it’s close to downtown. All in all, it looks like a good building.

“If the building works for us, yes, we would move,” he added. “As with any business, you one day hope to own your own building. We saw that building for sale, took a cursory look at it, and put an offer in. Business is great, and that affords us this opportunity.”

On Tuesday, however, City staff told the Tacoma Daily Index the property is back on the market.

“We received a notice from Al on February 20 to rescind the offer,” said Jennifer S. Hines, Assistant Division Manager in the City of Tacoma’s Public Works Department Real Property Services Division. “The notice just said that he wasn’t comfortable with the total construction costs. We have updated our [Request for Proposals] and we just issued that last week.”

The Tacoma Daily Index reached out to Lynden on Tuesday for comment, but has not yet received a response. This post will be updated if/when more information is available.

The City is currently accepting offers on the property until 11 a.m. on Tues., June 17. The minimum bid is $280,000. More information is available online here and here. According to Hines, once the bid deadline expires, proposals will be taken to the selection advisory committee for review.

A former Tacoma police station once slated to become the new headquarters for a downtown Tacoma office supply retailer is back on the market. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)
A former Tacoma police station once slated to become the new headquarters for a downtown Tacoma office supply retailer is back on the market. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of Chuckals Office Products, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengers; third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright; and second-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State. His work has also appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at