Urban planners to visit Tacoma for MLK corridor development discussion

A group of urban planners and design specialists from across the country will be in Tacoma next week to discuss development strategies for the city’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Way corridor, City of Tacoma officials announced Wednesday.

The group, which includes representatives of the Urban Land Institute and officials from the cities of Hartford, Conn., Louisville, Ky. and Austin, Texas will meet with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and key staff from both the City of Tacoma and Sound Transit to inspect and tour the corridor, which includes a stretch of downtown Tacoma real estate bordered by two of the city’s oldest residential and commercial areas — the Stadium neighborhood to the north, and the Hilltop neighborhood along the south.

“There are a number of older commercial and residential structures along the [corridor] that offer opportunities for neighborhood redevelopment complemented by large scale private investments,” said Strickland, who was selected last year by the Urban Land Institute as a Daniel Rose Fellow, which involves a year-long program centered on innovative urban development. “Over the last 10 years, thanks to extensive community outreach and planning, significant growth opportunities have been created for this historic neighborhood, and there is now the possibility of extending Sound Transit light rail service to this corridor.”

The group will arrive in Tacoma on Mon., March 4 and conclude their visit on Thurs., March 7 with a full presentation of the visiting delegation’s findings at the Museum of Glass Theater, located at 1801 Dock St., between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. More information is available online here.

Four conceptual illustrations provided by the City of Tacoma show what Tacoma's MLK Business District could look like in the future. (COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)