Life is slowly returning to the 93-acre former Asarco copper smelting site, where Point Ruston developers are looking ahead to creation of the project’s 250,000-square foot retail core
as part of the second phase of the development.
Silver Cloud Hotel, Century
Theatre, and Vino at the Landing have already signed leases, and developers are
in various stages of conversation with other businesses including restaurants,
boutique shops, and outdoor recreation-related stores.
“We are working with some really
great tenants.” Said Point Ruston’s Loren Cohen. “We want to be able to offer
an experience that is like being at a resort.”
If all goes as planned, the retail core will offer a little bit of everything, from a nine-screen movie theatre and a 175-room hotel, to more than half a dozen restaurants, a 25,000-square-foot grocery store, and dozens of specialty shops.
Silver Cloud was the earliest commercial partner on the project. In addition to the hotel, it plans to open a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and 12,000-square-foot conference facility, all within a building on the north corner the development’s grand plaza.
On the south side of the grand plaza, there will be a series of three smaller buildings, which will likely be home to restaurants, as well as the 35,000-square-foot Century Theatre in another building.
Rick McMaster, owner of Vino at the Landing in Renton, signed a lease for one of these buildings in June. His new restaurant, Vino at Point Ruston, will seat about 70 in the interior 1,800 square feet, but he’ll also have a rooftop deck and space on the plaza, which will double his capacity in the summer months.
“I’ve been thinking about a second location, but none of the other locations appealed to me once I heard about Point Ruston,” McMaster said. “In terms of the South Sound, there’s nothing like it. Having a mixed-used development on the water in the South Sound is very unique and it’s going to become a destination.”
McMaster started talking with developers in early 2012, and, although they’re still in the permitting process, McMaster said he expects to be open in spring 2014.
He expects to hire between 10 and 15 employees to begin and eventually double that number as business grows.
Tacoma-based eatery Twokoi Sushi, which has a location on Commerce Street downtown, may also be moving into the development. The restaurant has submitted a letter of intent for space off the grand plaza as well.
In all, there will be between six and eight restaurants in the retail core, all centered around the grand plaza, said Cohen. He’s in various stages of conversations with a number of other restaurants and has received a few other letters of intent.
“The grand plaza is sort of the central focus of our retail core,” Cohen said. “That’s the area that, in our mind, people will gather. It will be for community events, community gatherings, and have the opportunity for these restaurant spaces that are around the plaza to really spill out with outdoor seating.”
These restaurants could be housed near Vino, within a 3,300-square-foot space off the theatre, or in two buildings on the west side of the grand plaza, which will also be home to several boutique shops.
Further to the west, away from the plaza, developers are planning to bring in about a dozen women’s apparel and home goods retailers in two buildings totaling 48,000 square feet.
They’re also in conversation with a number of outdoor recreation-oriented retailers, including a local bike store and dive shop, yoga and spinning studios, a kayak and paddleboard shop, and a
national running store. There could be about 12 different shops for these retailers within 25,000 square feet of space in two buildings.
Across a parking lot from these retailers, along the west side of the core, they’re planning to bring an IGA-concept grocery store in 25,000-square-foot building.
Then, at the north end of the retail core, in a building next to Silver Cloud, developers plan to have a 30,000-square foot marine-oriented store.
The second phase of construction will also include creation of 220 residences above the retailers, including 137 within the theater’s building. The other residences will be above the five buildings intended to house the grocery store, outdoor recreation-related shops, ad the women’s apparel and home goods retailers.
The residences will have self-contained, underground parking.
Surface parking will be dedicated for retail customers, but the majority of public parking will be in an 8-acre, 4-story underground parking garage with 1,350 stalls below the center of the
Cohen said he hopes to begin construction on the retail core by the end of this year. This will start with creation of the underground garage and the theater’s building. He and the rest of the Point Ruston team are working on final permitting with the City of Tacoma.
Earlier this summer, developers completed the first half of the first phase of Point Ruston’s development, which includes the Copperline Apartments and 21,000 square feet of retail space. Developers are currently working on the remainder of the first phase, the Copperline Condominiums, which will be ready for residents to move in by April 2014.
This article originally appeared in the Business Examiner