Tacoma, a "
gritty metropolis" beautiful, blue-collar port city located about a 45-minute drive south of Seattle (in good traffic) has experienced numerous rough patches over the years and frequently makes national headlines for unsavory reasons, mostly related to violent crimes. In “Thrice All-American,” singer-songwriter and erstwhile “T-town” resident Neko Case refers to the city as “a dusty old jewel in the South Puget Sound, where the factories churn and the timber's all cut down.” And then there’s that famous aroma of industrial pollution ...
So when good news comes out of Tacoma, especially on the affordable green housing front, it’s most encouraging. The project in question, Salishan 7, is the final rental phase of Salishan, a 1,300-unit mixed-income community spread across 188 green space-filled acres in East Tacoma. Salishan is the most ambitious redevelopment project in the city’s history. The award-winning new Salishan replaces a crime-ridden and decrepit 1940s-era housing project demolished in 2004. As noted by the New York Times: "Like Tacoma itself, the old Salishan was famous more for its seediness than its assets."
In addition to having bragging rights as the 10,000th LEED certified residential project, Salishan 7 is also the first Hope VI Redevelopment project in the country to achieve LEED Platinum certification and the first LEED-certified community to be developed by the Tacoma Housing Authority. Salishan 7 has also received an Award for Excellence in Sustainable Community from The Home Depot Foundation and 4-Star Built Green Community Certification from the Master Builders of Pierce County.
Remarks Michael Mirra, executive director of the Tacoma Housing Authority, said this in an official USGBC press release:
We are proud to be a part of the community of over 10,000 homes that have committed to excellence through the LEED for Homes program. Our LEED Platinum housing projects are less expensive to operate and are healthier inside, which means a world of difference to our residents.
Head on over to the Tacoma Housing Authority to learn more about this mighty impressive New Urbanism housing development (don't miss a “user’s guide” of sorts that highlights all of the green features in the Salishan 7 units). A 2007 New York Times article on Salishan is also worth checking out. And it's also worth mentioning another high-profile, LEED Platinum project in Tacoma of the non-residential variety: The Center for Urban Waters.
Images: Tacoma Housing Authority