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Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 7:57 AM
jake840 jake840 is offline
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Location: Tacoma, WA
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Luzon Building to Receive Rehab - Tacoma

Here is some info on a historic building that is to be rehabbed soon in Downtown Tacoma.

Image from Tacoma Urbanist on Flickr

From Exit133.com:

The Resolution will provide the Gintz Group with help to restore the Luzon and turn it into commercial condominiums on all 6 floors. The total project cost is estimated at $6 million. The City will help the project by providing a $1.65 million loan, and help navigate the permits and tax credit options. There are two options for the terms of this loan which are still being debated, largely because of some possible federal tax credits, but the end result is a rehabilitated Luzon and a full return on investment for the city.

The simple financing proposal is for the City to provide a no interest loan to the Gintz Group, with full repayment in 15 months when the project is completed, as well as 50% of the profits made on the sale of the building at completion. The complicated version involves federal tax credits, which have provisions for the sale of the building attached. In that version the City’s loan is extended past the 15 months and there are some fancy accounting requirements to compensate for the tax credits and charge interest after the initial construction phase. Upon sale of the building the City would still receive 50% of the profits as originally planned.

The Contract includes provisions for open records of all expenditures and the addition of land for an elevator and stairway. Financially, it could be complicated, but the bottom line is that we could see the building restored completely by Fall of 2009. And we like that idea.

Image and info from the City of Tacoma


"Chicago School" style; the first of four buildings by Burnham and Root Architects. The other 3 were/are The Fidelity Building in Tacoma (demolished in 1949), the San Francisco Chronicle (dramatically altered) and the landmark Mills Building in San Francisco.


1302 Pacific Avenue
Building Name

Pacific National Bank

Built Date
1890-91, completed 2/7/1891
Pacific National Bank Building

Burnham and Root Architects, Chicago

Pacific Avenue entrance: Bank; upper floors - Offices for lawyers, insurance companies, real estate agents. Commerce Street storefront: Tailor (1891-1901).

George W. Vanderbilt (1892)
Vanderbilt Building (1892), Luzon Building (1901), Argonne Building (1919)

Pacific Avenue entrance: 1898 - Metropolitan Bank, 1902-04 - London & San Francisco Bank, 1904-1918 - Bank of California, 1920 - Scandinavian American Bank. Commerce Street storefront: Tailor (1891-1901), Markam Tea Company (1901-1907), barber shop (1908-1923).

1905 fire, $15,000 damage, repairs by contractor J. E. Bonnell

1924-37 - William L. Davis & Sons Furniture Co.
State Building; around 1930 it rolled back to Luzon.

Cornell Bros., contractor

Furniture store/warehouse and decorating company

1942-55 - Seymour's Army & Navy Store

1959-79 (approx.) - Circus Amusement Company

Pacific Avenue entrance: Fun Circus. Upper floors: Warehouse for National Bank of Washington files.

Luzon Joint Venture

1982 - Pacific Avenue entrance: Golden Chopsticks (closed 1986). Upper floors vacant.

Additional Information
The Luzon name was given to the building after the city in the Philippines for recognition of their help to America during the Spanish American War. In 1919the building was called Argonne Building, after the pivotal French battleground of World War I.

The Luzon Building has been placed on the following Historical Registers: Tacoma 1976, Washington State 1980, National 1980.

Another one almost down. Not many more to go.

Last edited by jake840; Dec 20, 2007 at 6:24 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 6:50 PM
seapug seapug is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 466

good i like that building, glad to see em save it. now they just need to put like a 16 floor apartment building on that parking lot next to it. oh and jake840 i will take you up on your offer to help me find a condo. so if you have any good links or anything that'd be awesome. oh and is there a movie theatre downtown?
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2007, 7:43 PM
jake840 jake840 is offline
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Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 165
Sent you over a message with my info.

And yes we have a cinema DT:

The Grand Cinema
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2007, 2:50 AM
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urbanlife urbanlife is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon
Posts: 11,155
good to see a Burnham and Root building getting renovated...I had no idea Tacoma even had a building from them.

Actually it is good to see Tacoma keep as many of their old buildings they currently have. They have plenty of open space downtown to build on.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2007, 7:38 PM
jake840 jake840 is offline
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From Exit133.com:

The Landmarks Preservation Committee heard, and approved, an application for design review this evening. Their application included multiple points.

-There will be an addition to the building built to house code required stairwells, bathrooms and provide structural stability. This is critical to stabilize the building.

-The South wall (facing the parking lot) will be demolished where the addition is built.

-All interior wood will be removed. The cast iron beams that make the building significant will be preserved but all other wood features will be stripped.
The exterior fire escapes and earthquake braces will be removed, as they are not original.

-A new steel and concrete building will be built inside the existing historic brick in order to provide seismic stability. Floor plans will be completely open, except where historic cast iron columns exist.

-There is a possibility of converting the 6th floor to a mezzanine and adding a penthouse above this floor.

-The original elevator will be reused. If the shaft and machinery can be saved it will be, but the existing machinery is mostly likely under water. If not, the original elevator car will be restored and the elevator shaft relocated to the new addition near the stairwells.

-Exterior masonry will be stripped of paint and restored by the same firm who has been working on the Mecca.

-The windows will be fully restored.

From the TNT Biz Buzz Blog:

Work could begin soon after the first of the year to arrest the steady but slow collapse of downtown Tacoma's historic Luzon Building.

The building's prospective redevelopers told the Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission that first they will temporarily shore up the structure at South 13th and Pacific Avenue. They then will erect a new steel and concrete structure inside to support the crumbling facade.

"The Luzon is in the active, but slow state of collapse," Tim Leiberman of developer The Gintz Group, told the commission.
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Old Posted Mar 11, 2008, 7:48 AM
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mSeattle mSeattle is offline
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Cool. Great building to save. Has renovation work started?
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