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South Tacoma Greenscape Project

South Tacoma Greenscape Project

STW from 47th to 50thIn 2014, the City Council set a strategic objective to focus on development of the South Tacoma and Lincoln District neighborhoods, both of which are designated as Mixed Use Centers. Funding for streetscape projects was approved by the City Council as part of the 2015-2016 biennial budget process.


What South Tacoma Way may look likeAbout the Revitalization

South Tacoma Way is the heart of a historic shopping district that is home to an eclectic mix of businesses. They include distinctive eateries and a comprehensive collection of retailers and service providers.


This stormwater greenscape project is a big step in a planned revitalization of the historic neighborhood. Preliminary concepts focus on depaving the street (removing the pavement) where appropriate and constructing green stormwater infrastructure.


 STW from 47th to 50thSTW from 50th to 52nd


STW from 52nd to 54th


STW from 54th to 56th


Trees and rainwater will be supported by Silva cells. Rain garden bioretention areas with native vegetation will naturally filter pollutants collected by stormwater. Permeable pavement will allow rainwater to soak into the ground below. The result will be improved water quality and reduced runoff in the Flett Creek Watershed.


This approach will enhance the pedestrian experience with green spaces and trees for shade. These features will also provide traffic calming measures.


A public art component will provide distinctive gateway attractions on both sides of the improved streetscape.


This project is funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology and City of Tacoma Surface Water Management. The primary purpose is to improve the quality of stormwater flowing into the Flett Creek Watershed. At the same time, the project will offer other benefits to the South Tacoma neighborhood.


Project Goals

  • Promote an economically thriving business district that provides access and support to businesses with sufficient and clearly defined parking and pedestrian amenities.
  • Provide an inviting and accessible destination area for eating, shopping and gathering.
  • Create a sense of place by celebrating the cultural diversity that is unique to the South Tacoma Business District.
  • Strategically depave the project area and introduce living green infrastructure to allow rainwater to soak back into the ground.
  • Increase the urban tree canopy.

Streetscape Project Funding




Department of Ecology Stormwater Grant


Environmental Services - Stormwater Utility





Tentative Greenscape Project Schedule



Estimated Completion Date

Concept Phase

October 2015-April 2016

Streetscape Design

10% completed January-April 2016

60% completed May 2017

90% completed November-December 2017

Contracting Process

January-March 2018


March-July 2018


Outreach and Public Involvement

An extensive public outreach process is underway to ensure local business and property owners and South Tacoma Way neighbors have a voice in the design of this project.


A public meeting was held in November 2015. Two coordinated meetings were held regarding this project, the art project, and the potential local improvement district from 38th to 80th Street:

  • May 12, 2016, 10 AM at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center located at 4851 South Tacoma Way
  • May 18, 2016, 6 PM (same location)

Project Manager

Jessica Knickerbocker

Environmental Services Department

(253) 502-2119 


Project Documents

Call to Artists


Coming Soon

Public Art Component

Project Overview Map

Project Cross Section View