Pierce County announced today the completion of acquiring a downtown Tacoma office building located at 1501 Market St. The building purchase is the next step in the County’s Justice Center and Space Planning Study – an initiative to convert the County-City Building (CCB) into a Justice Center campus to improve service delivery and public access.
County Council approved the $27,271,000 purchase of the 149,330-square-foot office building and adjacent parking lot sold by Regence BlueShield. The purchase was funded through a $50 million bond sale. The County received a AAA bond rating, the highest rating a municipal government can be awarded, resulting in a 4.357% interest rate.
“The County received favorable treatment in the bond market because of our high rating,” said Bruce Dammeier, County Executive. “Thanks to our continued fiscal discipline and transparency practices, we are able to yield tangible results for Pierce County taxpayers as we fund this purchase and future building renovations at the new and current sites.”
With the new building purchase, the County intends to make the CCB located at 930 Tacoma Ave. S. a dedicated Justice Center to serve the growing needs of judicial and law enforcement operations for both the County and City of Tacoma. The first phase of the Justice Center project is to relocate administrative offices not related to justice programs to the new building, which includes Council, Executive, Communications and Sheriff’s administration departments. Renovations at the CCB begin in late 2023 and will continue until 2026.
The purchase also allows for consolidation of County-leased spaces and maximization of County-owned spaces, a cost savings for taxpayers. Other departments and functions currently expected to move into the new building include Economic Development, Facilities, Human Resources, Human Services, IT and Risk Management. Renovations at the new building begin November 2023. Full move in and operations based out of the new building are planned for 2025.
Lee & Associates helped evaluate options, find the ideal property and close the sale for the County.
About the Justice Center and Space Planning Study
At the direction of the County Executive, Pierce County’s Facilities Management Department completed a Justice Center and Space Planning Study in 2022 which analyzed the expected 20-year needs for justice-related services. The study recommended the County convert the CCB into a comprehensive Justice Center; a single building for law and justice programs allows for more space and efficiencies for courtroom functions, improves customer service, and realizes a significant cost savings for the County as compared with new construction.
The 64-year-old CCB has exhausted all available space through renovations and expansions to accommodate increased court-related operations over the years.
For more details, visit www.PierceCountyWA.gov/JusticeCenter.
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Andriana Fletcher, Public Information Specialist