Upper Tacoma or Hilltop? Resolution could officially change Tacoma business district's name

What’s in a name?

Everything, according to a group of stakeholders in Tacoma’s “Upper Tacoma” neighborhood.

Later this month, Tacoma City Council is expected to consider a resolution that would formally change the “Upper Tacoma Business District” to the “Hilltop Business District.” The resolution has tentatively been placed on City Council’s Nov. 15 agenda.

Documents supporting the resolution indicate the name dates back 20 years, when the City’s Neighborhood Business District program was finalized. At that time, the “K” Street Boosters came up with the name “Upper Tacoma,” which also serves to identify the area along Martin Luther King Jr. Way between South 9th Street and South 15th Street.

“In recent years the Hilltop Community including the Central Neighborhood Council, Hilltop Action Coalition, Upper Tacoma Business District Association and various residents, property owners and business owners, have all requested that the City of Tacoma formally recognize the neighborhood business district as the ‘Hilltop Business District,'” wrote Carol Wolfe, a community development specialist at City Hall, in a request for the resolution prepared last month. “Hilltop community members are proud of their residential and business community and want to show it through a formal recognition of their historical name.”

On June 29, the Hilltop Business Association wrote a letter to City Hall requesting the name change.

If the resolution is approved, visitors to the neighborhood would notice the name change reflected in new banners that will be installed throughout the area.