Elbow room

I hope you read yesterday’s announcement that we are planning to buy a downtown Tacoma building so that we can finally implement our long-planned Justice Center initiative in the County-City Building (CCB).

The CCB was constructed in 1959 and originally housed nearly all the County’s operations, as well as those of the City of Tacoma – hence the name County-City Building. As our population grew, the need for our county services grew too.  Courts expanded in the CCB, and other departments were moved out to other leased locations.  The City of Tacoma moved out to their current municipal building (originally built in 1931) in 1977, leaving their court and related services behind.


The newly built County-City Building – note the old courthouse is still standing.

Fast forward to today.

By moving the last remaining non-judicial groups out of the CCB we can make badly needed space for courtrooms and those departments and operations that support them – Clerk’s Office, Prosecutors, Jury Administration, and others.  Having an integrated justice center serves our community more effectively and efficiently.

The County-City Building will finally be fully transformed into the County Justice Center.

At the same time, getting other departments out of the leased space they’re currently occupying and into one building saves money and allows them to operate more efficiently, too.  Plus, we are taking advantage of a very favorable real estate market for office buildings.

The purchased building at 1501 Market Street, will house the Council, the Executive team, and Communications from the CCB, as well as Economic Development, Finance, Human Resources, IT, Facilities, and Risk Management from throughout Tacoma.  As planning progresses, we may make further moves involving the Sheriff’s Department and Human Services.

1501 Market Street

Thanks to our Facilities team for getting us to this point, but there’s a lot of work ahead.  Final Council approval is targeted for the end of the month, followed by a lot of due diligence, and hopefully closing the sale in October. The first groups are expected to move to 1501 Market in late 2024 or early 2025. We are committed to keeping you up to date on the details via a project website. The site includes a timeline and a FAQ.  We will add more information as we finalize it.

Thanks for reading and Go Kraken!