This summer, Tacoma’s once-idle Brewery District will experience a revival as it welcomes Brewery Blocks Tacoma to the historic downtown neighborhood. Brewery Blocks Tacoma will be located in the center of the historic district, just south of the University of Washington Tacoma’s downtown campus, and it aims to redefine downtown living by restoring the area’s historic warehouses – converting the buildings into spaces where the community can live, work, and play.

The stretch of century-old buildings has remained an urban industrial part of town, considered desolate by locals for years. Dating as far back as the end of the 18th century, the area became home to two of Tacoma’s very first breweries, which were founded prior to the Prohibition Era and operated through its entirety. Both breweries later closed their doors, while the area struggled for years until the University of Washington built their campus downtown in 1990, putting the area back on the map.  The now-bustling district became home to Harmon Brewing Company, and later welcomed 7 Seas, Black Fleet Brewing, and E-9 to the neighborhood.

Brewery Blocks
Brewery Block’s 14-story high rise was made using cross-laminated timber, a sustainable material that requires less labor and is more environmentally friendly than concrete or steel. Photo courtesy: Horizon Partners Northwest

The Horizon Partners who developed Brewery Blocks have breathed life into the area’s beautiful brick buildings, which were built at the turn of the century, by preserving and reusing materials from the original hundred-year-old structures. Brewery Blocks will add more than 200 residential living spaces, over 250 parking stalls, and 117,000 square feet of office and retail space tucked within an urban pedestrian-friendly setting. The new area hopes to celebrate the city’s rich history while also celebrating its community and local businesses.

The Brewery Lofts will be located within a four-story building complete with 49 market-rate residential units, which will be available for tenants later this spring and are currently accepting applicants to join their waitlist. The redevelopment will provide the area with much needed housing and parking options for those dwelling and working in the downtown area.

Brewery Blocks will also feature a 14-story high rise building that will officially be Washington State’s tallest building made from cross-laminated timber, which is an environmentally and economically friendly way of constructing the building while reducing its carbon footprint. The high-rise will be home to 143 apartment units.

Brewery Blocks Bitterroot BBQ
Bitterroot BBQ plans to open at Brewery Blocks Tacoma later this summer. Photo courtesy: Bitterroot BBQ

Brewery Blocks has so far announced two Northwest-based businesses who will be joining the area, bringing new dining and drinking options to the district. Bitterroot BBQ will be opening their second location at Brewery Blocks Tacoma as an expansion from their original location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Bitterroot is best known for serving up savory smoked meats, mac and cheese with all the fixings, and other classic barbeque dishes that pair perfectly with their craft beer and bourbon selection.

Incline Cider will also be opening their first customer-focused taproom and retail location within Brewery Blocks, introducing the South Sound to their tasty and creative  craft ciders. While there won’t be any food at Incline Cider, they plan to feature other Pacific Northwest-made beers and wines, and will also allow patrons to bring in their own food as most taprooms do.

Incline Cider Tacoma
Brewery Blocks will be home to Incline Cider’s first craft cider taproom. Photo courtesy: Incline Cider

By creating a sustainable mixed-use district, Brewery Blocks Tacoma will bring life to one of Tacoma’s long underappreciated neighborhoods that’s rich with history. With more dining options, retail shops, and office spaces soon to join the area, Brewery Blocks plans to redefine downtown yet again. The area is also located steps away from museums, shopping, and public transit facilities, the Link light rail system, University of Washington’s downtown Tacoma campus, and Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Brewery Blocks Tacoma is located in the Brewery District between 21st and 23rd street, just south of the University of Washington campus and is anticipating their dining and retail locations to begin opening later this summer through early fall 2019. Housing units will be ready for tenants to move in later this spring. Those who are interested in both residential housing and commercial leasing opportunities at Brewery Blocks Tacoma can find more on their website, and by staying tuned for news and updates on their Facebook page and Instagram.