Tuesday, December 11, 2012

City of Tacoma One Step Closer to Selling Waterfront Property

On Tuesday, December 11, 2012, Su Dowie, Executive Director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA), presented to the Tacoma City Council’s Economic Development Committee regarding the proposed sale of City-owned real estate to Pacific Seafood, headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon.

The property, located at 1199 Dock Street, is approximately 28,000 square feet and includes a 7,720 square foot building. Johnny’s Seafood, which is owned by Pacific Seafood, has been a tenant of the property since 1975. The property would be sold for $700,000 and support FWDA operations for the 2013-14 biennium, which has already been included in their approved budget.

The City and FWDA have not made any improvements to the property for many years. Should the sale go through, Pacific Seafood plans to complete an extensive $1.3 million remodel. With the planned remodel and expansion, the property would maintain retail and commercial seafood operations and processing and add a café. The City would retain ownership of the esplanade.

Pacific Seafood has committed to hiring a Pierce County contractor for the remodel and additional Pierce County employees following the renovation. Should the City decide not to sell the property, they risk losing a local business to a nearby city, such as Fife. There is also an added benefit of property taxes, although Dowie did not know exactly how much that amount would be.

Councilmember Boe brought up an interesting question, asking if Pacific Seafood was unionized, noting how the non-unionization of the company could complicate the sale. Dowie replied that Pacific Seafood employees have voted against unionization, because of their strong employee benefits and pay package, which includes medical benefits and profit sharing.

The Committee unanimously approved a “Do Pass” for the sale. The sale will be scheduled for Council meeting sometime next month.

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