A major effort to transform Lincoln District has made great strides since it got underway five years ago. Carol Wolfe and Debbie Bingham from the city’s Community and Economic Development Department provided an update to Tacoma City Council at a recent study session.
The project was started in 2013. The city opened an office in the neighborhood to help coordinate outreach residents and business owners in 2015. Construction began on phase one last year. Wolfe said the business district now holds monthly meetings. Lincoln District has hosted four festivals, including a return of the popular lunar New Year celebration. People in the neighborhood even prepared a lunch for construction crews.
Ten new businesses have opened in the district. One is Bambu, a dessert shop that just celebrated one year in business. Another is a Starbucks coffee shop. Representatives of both briefly told the council why they were attracted to the area. Two new multi-family housing developments are part of the neighborhood, one with eight units and another with 18 units. Another building is being rehabilitated for housing.
A community garden has been installed on South 34th Street on a parcel owned by Tacoma Water. New sidewalks and public art are part of the project. This includes chairs in the shape of clouds as well as decorative cloud columns. A ribbon cutting for phase two of construction will take place in November. The lease on the city’s office is up at the end of the year. Wolfe said the department plans to assign a staff person as a liaison to the neighborhood. Soon a Lincoln District stewardship group will be formed.
Mayor Victoria Woodards, who attended Lincoln High School, praised the efforts made thus far to improve the neighborhood. “This is making such a huge difference,” she remarked.
Wolfe said lessons learned in Lincoln District will help the city on Hilltop, which will soon undergo big changes as light rail is extended from downtown.