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Tacoma’s Kiss of Death? December 24, 2007

Posted by Who? in Random.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Russell Company considering relocating Tacoma, WA headquarters. 

Article here.

 “The chance that Tacoma could lose Russell has triggered a civic commotion best described as both scramble and strategy with one goal: Keep Russell in Tacoma.”

I should hope so.  My question: what the eff are those JO’s on the council and the EDC AND the City Manager doing?  This is what happens when you get a bunch of fat, 0ld, rich dudes entrenched in political ex machina whom are either complacent or, worse, actively opposing development for the sake of some romanticized bull-shit about “the way the city should be preserved”. 

Whatever the case, they dropped the ball and it is going to result in nuclear fallout to Downtown Tacoma IF Russell leaves.  Which I happen to think is likely for one simple fact: Tacoma drastically lags behind Seattle in vibrancy.  Perhaps if the founders were still at the helm, Tacoma might have a chance, but their not and it doesn’t.  But fear not Tacomans (??), your council was quick to recently cut a $180,000 check to an out of state consulting firm to analyze this problem.  Not only did they drop the ball, but now they’re dropping 200G’s on a study?  Good work guys.  Everybody wave good-bye to 1,100(!!!) local, high-paying jobs (est. $70mm in wages and income to Tacoma and those employees) and wave hello to a glut of empty office space that local brokers estimate will take 5+ years to clear.  Wow.

“Further, building heights downtown, now limited to 400 feet, might have to go higher to accommodate Russell’s growth, Baarsma said.”

Tacoma development groups have been blowing all this hot air about economic redevelopment for years yet there is still a 400 feet building height limit?  Heads need to roll.  Tacoma has so much potential that it actually pains me to see this kind of news.  You’d think someone would have learned from history (Weyerhaeuser relocated from Tacoma in the 70’s).  I guess its too much to ask for politicians to get off their ass to work on meaningful things that are critically important.

In the short term, Tacoma’s growth hopes are f*cked without Russell.  Perhaps the long term.  Easily avoidable tragedies are the hardest to watch.




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