Construction begins on $40M Dome District project ‘years in the making’

GIS International Group has broken ground on its $40 million, 115-unit Tacoma
Trax mixed-use building at 415 E. 25th St. in the Dome District. The project will be the
first transit-oriented development in Tacoma to provide each resident with a free ORCA
transit pass.
The development has been “years in the making,” said Kristina Walker, a Tacoma
councilmember and Pierce Transit commissioner who spoke at the groundbreaking.
Efforts to find a developer to build a transit-oriented development on the site,
previously owned by Pierce Transit, began with a 2014 planning effort, she said.
The vision for the district, Walker said, is to create a “multi-nodal” transportation
residential hub where residents will have access to all types of public transportation
options, including Sounder commuter trains, Tacoma Link light rail, buses and
“runners.” (Pierce Transit Runner is an on-demand service that shuttles passengers to
destinations such as Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Ruston, Spanaway and the Tacoma
Tideflats.)
The Tacoma Trax project is one of the first multifamily developments in the Dome
District. Twenty percent of the units will remain affordable to lower-income renters for
12 years thanks to a multifamily tax exemption granted by the city. The building will
have an indoor farmer’s market on the ground floor as well as restaurant and retail
space.
Residents will also have access to grocery shopping in the Stadium District and three
medical centers, Walker said.
DMG Capital is partnering with Redmond-based GIS on the project.
The Dome District, named for its proximity to the Tacoma Dome, has historically been
used as a base for food production and other industrial purposes, most notably Johnny’s
Fine Foods and candy maker Brown & Haley. Freighthouse Square, a former train
station built in 1910, serves as Tacoma’s answer to Pike Place Market and is filled with
small, independently owned retail stores and restaurants.
Though it’s been a transit hub for years, very little housing is available in the district.
The exception, however, is Koz at the Dome, which is located just a few blocks from the
Trax site. More multifamily developments will be popping up soon, including two
buildings by developer Bode, formerly known as The Stratford Co. Plans are also
underway to build Cornus House, a $30 million mixed-use project from affordable
housing developer Great Expectations.

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