Possibilities for a DMU Zoned Property in Tacoma?

8 Replies

Does anyone have any experience with DMU zoned projects/development in downtown Tacoma?  I met with a home owner today who has a property zoned DMU in downtown Tacoma.  I'm looking to get more information on the DMU zoned possibilities for a 4500 squarefoot lot.  That lot size could potentially double (vacant lot next door).  I would love to hear from anyone with experience, thoughts, or adivce on potential possibilites!

We don't have any experience with this particular zoning in Tacoma.

I would suggest to go to building and planning department of City of Tacoma and asking them what can be done with this particular lot and zoning.

I'd recommend getting in touch with Ricardo or Pat down at the community & economic board of development. They're always coming up with ideas to improve the Tacoma landscape and have a ton of cool projects in the pipeline. They are good people and would certainly be able to fill you in on the possibilities!


Downtown Mixed Use is the zoning where the city is encouraging dense/tall development.  Mixed use is generally retail on the bottom floor with office and/or residential above.  I have linked to the City's short blurb below which notes the max building height  for DMU is 100 feet.  Not all areas with this zoning type might make sense for constructing a 100-foot tower at this moment, but that is allowable, and that is the direction and location that city planners are encouraging for that sort of structure. 

I agree with Ryan Evans it would be worth a call to community and economic development.  Title 13 of the Tacoma Municipal Code discusses your options in detail regarding setbacks, etc.  Feel free to PM me if you would like to talk about the property specifically.   


Thank you guys so much for your responses!  Tatiana, I followed your advice and went downtown to the planning department yesterday to get more info.  It was a short meeting, but looks like there are a lot of possibilities for the property.   Ryan and Andrew, I will look into it further today with your suggestions of people to talk to, and I will check out the link too, thanks! 

The property is in a really great location with a bunch of condos going up close by, and an incredible view of Ranier from the front porch. 

If you guys know anyone interested in a development project for downtown Tacoma I'd love to talk to them.  I met with the Seller Sunday.  We might end up listing it, but she's very open to the idea of an off market deal.

I haven't dealt with this personally, but in talking to Economic Development folks, my understanding is that the City of Tacoma does have some hurdles if you change the permitted use of a building. Say you wanted to change the lot from residential to commercial restaurant space, the city requires external improvements, such as making the corner cross walks ADA accessible and reprogramming the traffic lights to be pedestrian friendly. This can add significant costs and just needs to be on your radar when running numbers. Depending on the size and scope of the project, the City of Tacoma might be willing to partner- Seven Seas is a great example. Because they revamped two city blocks, they received a grant to help fund the cross walk construction.

Third to what Andrew and Ryan mentioned about meeting with economic development. They are very receptive. Here's a link to the Economic Development Services page with all of their contact info. It doesn't hurt to just shoot them an e-mail with questions.

Sorry if my post was redundant to what you know, Kim. I must have been typing it up when you posted.

Thank you Annie!  That is good information to pass along and I appreciate it!  I will definitely keep those things in mind.

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