Tacoma awarded $500K grant for Esplanade project

The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) announced Wednesday the City of Tacoma has been awarded a $500,000 grant to help fund a portion of the waterfront Esplanade project.

In total, 18 projects were selected to receive $10.9 million in grants for building public infrastructure to support local community revitalization and economic development efforts. CERB received $12 million in funding through two new temporary grant programs approved by the 2012 Legislature. The Board conducted a two-phase competitive process resulting in grant awards to projects that will support growth of local economies and improve community vitality. Over the summer application period, CERB received a total of $48.3 million in requests from 100 jurisdictions seeking the new grants.

The money awarded to Tacoma will be used to meet the approximately $250,000 funding gap needed for construction of the second phase of the Foss Waterway Site 11 Esplanade, and will provide $250,000 to construct an estimated 80 lineal feet of the adjoining Site 10 Esplanade. The project supports the City’s longstanding efforts to create a 1.5-mile esplanade on the Foss. Tacoma City Council approved a resolution to submit the grant application in August.

“Strategic infrastructure funding is the foundation of economic growth,” said CERB Chair Mark Urdahl. “Local jurisdictions need these public services to attract and support businesses and jobs.”

Economic Development Grants aim to support business recruitment and retention projects connected to the creation of direct family-wage jobs. Community Revitalization Grants target projects which aim to revitalize downtown business districts and increase local economic activity. Grants from both of these programs must be used for infrastructure construction.

In September, CERB also awarded nine Community Revitalization Micro-grants totaling $154,745. Micro-grants are less than $20,000 each and required no local matching funds, creating a unique opportunity for small communities to implement meaningful local projects.

“As our broader economy continues to rebound, state investments in these local infrastructure projects are essential for communities to pursue their goals for business development and job growth,” said Department of Commerce Director Rogers Weed.

More information is available online at commerce.wa.gov/cerb.