Tacoma's dead zones

Tacoma's dead zonesAfter wandering around snapping photos the other day, I got to thinking about some of the strangely desolate areas within our city. These "dead zones" are devoid of any notable residents or businesses yet would seem key to helping fill in some gaps of our maturing city. There are three I can think of:

Heidleberg row [ map ]
This one's more of a street, really. Once past S. 21st towards 24th on C Street there isn't much going on. I know there are plenty of other empty blocks further up the hill but this area seems ripe for some investment love. The great old structures/spaces combined with access via 509/705 would make this an easy fit for most local businesses. Heck, surface an old spring to get some fresh water flowing to add a little nature to a relatively run down bit of old industry.

705 shadow [ map ]
Aside from being used as parking lots, the area just to the west of I-705 is fast becoming a dead zone. Some of the businesses there on the edge of the Dome District are moving out. Premium Motors recently vacated and Tacoma Design Market has lease signs hanging outside -- both along A Street there. There is plenty of vagrant, drug and prostitution activity that's only recently calmed slightly but also the impending promise of construction and street closures for the Sounder extension. Heck, most were probably holding on as long as they could in hopes they'd see a LeMay Museum save the area. As long as Brown & Haley stick it out I'm happily only a couple blocks from work to some Roca Boo Boo's.

Salishan plateau [ map ]
Without getting too much into local history (of which I know little detail) this used to be a part of the old Salishan housing development but now sits as an empty plateau. I was up there a couple years ago while doing some research for a college project. Needless to say, I was a bit creeped out by the old, weed-penetrated streets that wound around leading to nothing more than some old house foundations and cement steps or walkways. Is this a Superfund site? Why has nothing been developed here? I see this are turning into a great extension of nearby Swan Creek Park.

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What other dead zones in Tacoma do you know about? How do you think these areas can change for the better? Are any other dead zones forming?

posted Jan 23, 2007 under dead zones, downtown, empty neighborhoods, tacoma  


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