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Tacoma's Brewery District getting first taste of revitalization

[Originally published by king 5 news]

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A historical neighborhood in Tacoma is getting the first taste of revitalization. "It’s basically bringing it back to its former glory," said Ellie Walkowiak with the city’s Economic Development Department. Walkowiak is talking about the Brewery District, which includes a new Town Center project at 21st and Jefferson which will have 600 housing units and retail space. "This is the second largest foreign investment project in the city's history.”

The Town Center project is a roughly $125 million investment from a Chinese investor. In total, according to Walkowiak, the Brewery District area will see a roughly $250 million investment "Really, what you're seeing in Tacoma is the evolution in the economy here," said Walkowiak. The Brewery District is the place that Nicole Wakely of England decided to open her first U.S-based eco-friendly furniture store, Tree. "Everybody here loves Tacoma and that gave me this immediate connection beyond the building to Tacoma."

Wakely and her shop Tree is one the first big investments in the historic Brewery District neighborhood. And she's clear that it's not just about her space.

"There's a shift and that's important for Tacoma because if we succeed, the business next store will succeed."

Folks who grew up near the neighborhood like Michael Mason say the shift is noticeable.

"Tacoma from when I was in high school to today, night and day. It's been huge the comeback of Tacoma."

Part of the comeback for the neighborhood will also be welcoming more breweries; 7 Seas is one of the first.

"The area has been historically filled with breweries, and there are artesian wells in the area," said Walkowiak.

It's the story that makes the risk takers like Nicole giddy.

"The sense of history and the sense of now all in one, and that just makes me rock and makes me feel very excited."

Copyright 2017 KING

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