Pac Ave business owners seek Neighborhood Business District designation

Tacoma’s Neighborhood Business District Program (NBDP) could add one more member to its roster.

According to a Feb. 18 memo written by Ryan Petty, Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Director, members of the Pacific Avenue Business District Association (PABDA) — which covers just over a half-mile stretch of Pacific Avenue between South 46th Street and South 56th Street, and includes 55 licenses businesses — have requested their organization be formally folded into the NBDP.

According to the City of Tacoma’s Web site, the NBDP was created in 1991 “as a direct response to the community’s request that neighborhood enhancements become a top priority . . . [so the] NBDP [could] bring positive growth and sustainable improvements to the business communities.”

The program expanded from 12 districts in 1999 to 15 in 2006. Today, the NBDP includes the Dome Business District; Fern Hill Business District; Lincoln International Business District; McKinley Hill Business District; Oakland Madrona Business District; Old Town Business District; Portland Avenue Business District; Proctor Business District; Ruston Pt Defiance Business District; Sixth Avenue Business District; South Tacoma Business District; Stadium Business District; Tacoma Narrows Business District; and Upper Tacoma Business District.

According to the City’s Web site, each neighborhood business district works with City staff on planning for physical improvements, streetscape enhancements, promotional activities, and economic development opportunities.

Petty’s memo notes PABDA members have consulted with the Cross District Association, which includes one representative from each of the neighborhood business districts, for two years.

In November, City staff assessed PABDA’s application by looking at two categories: physical and organizational criteria. PABDA met all of the organizational requirements, but failed to meet three physical requirements related to zoning and frontage. Staff also noted PABDA used innovative grants to purchase banners along Pacific Avenue to promote and beautify the district; started a community newsletter and created a Web site; and maintains a strong relationship with Safe Streets.

The final decision on PABDA’s application will be made by Petty by the end of this week.

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For more information, click on the following links:

1. City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Business District Program — and

2. Pacific Avenue Business District —