Groundbreaking nears for Tacoma Dome District apartment project

GIS Companies Group says it plans to break ground on its 115-unit Tacoma Trax apartment project near the Tacoma Dome in the next few weeks. It recently sold the property and has secured a 99-year ground lease on the site.

The company Safehold, which specializes in ground leases, was the buyer. The property changed hands for an undisclosed amount.

“By incorporating the ground lease into the capital stack, we were able to unlock trapped equity in the land which was used toward funding these transformative construction projects,” said Mike Gurtovoy of JS Coats Capital, the commercial real estate finance company that oversaw the transaction. “The utilization of this funding mechanism provided good returns for all parties involved and we were pleased to be able to bring this structure to the table.”

JS Coats also helped with financing for Tacoma Town Center mixed-use project, the Hailey Apartments and the Marriott Tacoma Downtown hotel, which is connected to the Convention Center.

GIS, which is partnering with DMG Capital, included its Madison Plaza mixed-use building in downtown Kent in its refinancing package, said Eugene Gershman, CEO of GIS.

“This is a financing deal to raise the necessary capital to get Trax financed,” he said.

The $40 million Tacoma Trax project is planned for 415 E. 25th St. in the Dome District. It will use the city’s 12-year multifamily tax exemption and include 23 affordable housing units.

Residents of the transit-oriented project will be offered ORCA transit passes. The building will also open out to a plaza that connects a nearby park-and-ride structure and crosswalk to the Sounder station.

Since it’s a transit-oriented development, it will only have 57 parking spots. Each parking spot costs $50,000 to $60,000 to build, Gershman said.

“It depends on terrain, excavation and soils, which are bad in a lot of sites around here,” he said.

Gershman said they are still considering whether or not to add retail to the Trax development. They may attempt to add more residential space, perhaps through live-work units.


By   –  Reporter, Puget Sound Business Journal