Bay Terrace

Introducing Bay Terrace

Bay Terrace is Tacoma Housing Authority’s newest workforce housing development between South 18th and South 27th on Tacoma’s Hilltop. THA has already demolished 104 old, unsightly public housing units. In their place, in two or three phases, THA will build 144 apartments in cottage clusters, town homes and midrise buildings with community buildings, green spaces and new infrastructure. Phase 1 is complete, and Phase 2 is just about to begin. THA’s goals, as with all its developments, include:

  • More housing in an appropriate density that serves the city’s comprehensive plan
  • More apartments affordable to a wider range of incomes
  • More apartments accessible to persons with disabilities
  • Community buildings and outdoor play and gathering spaces
  • Financially sustainable operations 
  • Environmentally responsible features and improved tree canopy
  • Attractive design

Bay Terrace Phase 1 

Bay Terrace Phase 1 was completed in August 2014. It includes 70 apartments – 54 housing units in one midrise building, and another 16 housing units in townhomes. Other details include:

  • 1 & 2 bedroom units
  • 6,925-square-foot community center hosting a Head Start program and community space
  • Connected gathering places, play areas and green spaces
  • New primary and secondary utility services
  • Environmentally responsible design: The Community Center achieved LEED Gold. The town homes are LEED Gold, and the midrise building is LEED Silver.

Phase 1 funding came from a variety of private and public sources:
  • JP Morgan Chase ($15.3 million in construction and financing)
  • Enterprise Community Investments ($8.9 million for tax credit equity investors)
  • Tacoma Housing Authority ($4.7 million)
  • Washington State Dept. of Commerce Housing Trust Fund ($2 million)
  • U.S. Depart. of Housing and Urban Development ($1.8 million)
  • City of Tacoma ($1.5 million) 
  • Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority ($1.1 million)
Bay Terrace Phase 2

Bay Terrace Phase 2 is under construction and will occupy the vacant lot on South Yakima and South 25th street. Other details include:

  • 74 apartments
  • 1, 2 & 3 bedroom units
  • 15 units serving large households of four or more individuals
  • 15 units serving individuals needing barrier free units
  • Connected gathering and outdoor green spaces
  • Community gardens
  • New primary and secondary utility services
  • Environmentally responsible design

Phase 2 funding comes from a variety of private and public sources:

  • JP Morgan Chase, $16.5 million in construction and permanent financing
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC Capital Markets), $16.8 million from tax credit equity
  • Tacoma Housing Authority, $400K sponsor loan
  • Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority, $1 million HOME funds & $100K CDBG 

The History of Hillside

1970: The history of Bay Terrace began when a private developer built Conifer Village, a housing development on four blocks between 15th Street and 27th Street on South Yakima and South G Street in the Hilltop. 

1976: THA purchased Conifer Village and renamed it Hillside Terrace. THA renovated all four blocks, but it could not change a challenging design. 

1990s: By the 1990s, Hillside Terrace was worn out. Also, the Hilltop neighborhood was showing signs of fatigue due to public and private underinvestment.

1996: THA applied for HUD money to demolish and rebuild Hillside Terrace. Unfortunately, THA received money only to demolish. HUD allowed THA to forego the demolition while THA sought the money to rebuild the property. 

1999: THA assembled a design team. In consultation with residents, the team prepared a master plan to redevelop all four blocks of Hillside Terrace. The money it would require and the challenge to find it meant THA would do this work in phases.

2002: THA assembled the financing to demolish and rebuild the 2300 block and to fix the 1500 block. This project was the first new money invested into the Hilltop in a long time. It helped encourage private investment in the for-profit and nonprofit housing developments that came later along South Yakima and South G Streets. 

The experience helped THA better understand its job as a developer. THA’s job is to build in neighborhoods that need the investment, and to do so in ways that embolden other people to invest there. THA should also set a high design standard. This helps to show that the higher densities the city’s comprehensive plan directs can also look very attractive. 

This work left the 1800 and 2500-2700 block for later.

2008: THA proposed a two-phase plan to redevelop the 1800 and 2500-2700 blocks. The first phase would demolish all remaining public housing units on these blocks. That demolition is done. Phase 1 would also build 70 apartments serving a range of income, a new community center, outdoor gathering spaces, and new infrastructure on the 2500–2700 block.

Unfortunately, about that time the recession began. It took a while to assemble the financing.

2013: THA ultimately assembled the financing and began construction on Phase 1. 

2014: THA completed phase 1 construction in July, ahead of schedule and on budget. The new project is now called Bay Terrace. Phase 1 offers 70 apartments in town house and midrise styles. They serve a wide range of incomes. The design is environmentally responsible. The new community building will host a Head Start program, denoting the growing partnership between THA and the Tacoma Public School District. Phase 1 also built brand new underground infrastructure.

2014–future: THA will continue to raise capital for phase 2 of Bay Terrace construction. THA anticipates construction could begin as soon as 2016. Phase 2 will mirror phase 1 using the remaining open space of the 500-2700 block. It will include 70 apartments on the 2500-2700 block and 20-40 units on the 1800 block.