New grocer, downtown awards headline City Center luncheon April 1

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber will hold its quarterly City Center Luncheon Fri., April 1 at from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Courtyard by Marriott, Cascade Ballroom, 1515 Commerce St., in downtown Tacoma. The luncheon program, sponsored by Absher Construction Company, will recognize new businesses and developments in downtown and honor the individuals, organizations and businesses leading the revitalization of downtown Tacoma with New Tacoma Awards.

The program includes the following presentations:

I. The 2011 New Tacoma Awards — Each year the Chamber recognizes community leaders with New Tacoma Awards in five categories. It’s not too late to nominate a leader. Award nominations are due no later than 4:30 p.m. on Fri., March 11. A complete description of the award categories, rules, and an on-line nomination form is available at .

II. Introducing Downtown’s Grocery Store — This summer downtown’s first grocery store in generations will open in Pacific Plaza on the corner of South 13th Street and Pacific Avenue. The 16,000 square foot store will be a full service IGA branded grocery store that caters to office workers, residents and visitors. Representatives from the Meyers Group, the store’s owner, will share their plans for this new, high-profile downtown business.

III. Midtown Lofts Update — Tom O’Connor will discuss the Midtown Lofts project and his outlook on residential development in the year ahead.

IV. Downtown is Open for Business — Bob Levin, the Director of the City of Tacoma’s Private Capital Division, will share information about some of the new businesses that have recently opened downtown.

V. What is Downtown Tacoma? — The boundaries of downtown can be elusive. Depending on who you talk to you may get a different answer about whether your business, residence or favorite shop is in the downtown. The City is working to clear up the confusion and better define the downtown boundaries. Find out more information during the luncheon.

VI. Tacoma Art Museum Spring Preview: Norman Rockwell — This spring the Tacoma Art Museum welcomes a rare exhibition of Norman Rockwell’s iconic artworks. “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell” celebrates the full range of Rockwell’s artwork, including 44 paintings and 323 original Saturday Evening Post covers. Museum staff will provide a show preview.

VII. Downtown On the Go – What’s Next? — Downtown On the Go is downtown Tacoma’s number one source for transportation-related services, resources, and programs specific to commuters, businesses, and residents. The organization is evolving with a new Web site ( ), incentives to live close to work and a new leader at the helm.

To reserve your seat at the City Center Luncheon register on line at or contact Cathy at the Chamber at or (253) 627-2175. The price is $20 Ambassadors prepaid; $25 Chamber Members prepaid; $30 Members at the door; $35 Non-members prepaid or at the door.